How to Disinfect Surfaces During the Coronavirus Disease Pandemic
What does ‘deep cleaning’ mean, and when do I need to do it? What chemicals should I use? How can I be sure that my cleaning routine is effective against coronavirus? How do I disinfect surfaces during the coronavirus pandemic?
As a business owner, these are all questions you probably face daily. Everyday tasks have turned into a source of uncertainty and anxiety, and widespread misinformation about the virus means no one is quite sure what they should be doing – whilst only adding to the stress of having to filter fact from fiction.
Research into COVID-19 is ongoing, however, we know that the virus is spread mainly through droplet transmission – when respiratory droplets from an infected person (generated through coughing, sneezing, talking and singing) get into the mouth, nose or eyes of people nearly, or from touching ‘contaminated’ surfaces. The virus itself may survive on surfaces for several days and whilst we may not be able to see it, left untreated, the virus dramatically reproduces, only increasing the risk of viral spread.
It's not all bad news though! Did you know that an ordinary disinfectant will kill coronavirus, which means your standard cleaning routine can help prevent viral infection?
But with an infection so rife, what else do you need to do? Sticking to general government advice here and carrying out common-sense cleaning and disinfecting procedures is key. The basics - frequent and thorough hand washing, social distancing and self-isolation as necessary –always apply but, to make it that little bit easier, we’ve put together some quick cleaning and hygiene tips to help you and your organisation protect against COVID-19.
Implementing these simple hygiene measures in the workplace can make a huge difference in reducing the spread of the virus and protecting your employees:
- Avoid touching your face (and eyes, nose and mouth) to reduce the risk of droplet transmission.
- Don’t cough or sneeze into your hands – the government’s ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ message is there for a reason! Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or, if none are to hand, your elbow when coughing and sneezing, and dispose of the used tissue immediately.
- Keep your distance – maintain a distance of at least 1 meter from work colleagues or visitors.
- Wear a mask in public places – now mandated by law, a mask helps prevent droplet transmission, particularly in areas where keeping a social distance is difficult.
- Monitor your health, daily – the sooner you identify COVID symptoms in yourself, the lower the risk of infection spread.
- Wash, wash, wash your hands! Yes, this advice is everywhere because it is, quite simply, the best line of defence against the virus. Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20-30 seconds, particularly after blowing your nose, sneezing, before putting on and taking off a face mask, using the bathroom, when entering or leaving a building, before and after eating food – et cetera! If using sanitiser, ensure it contains at least 60% alcohol and make sure you cover all parts of your hands (again, rub together for 20-30 seconds, or until your hands feel dry).
Regular cleaning and disinfection with the right products around your workplace are so important. When assessing your cleaning routine, key things to remember are:
- Focus on high-touch surfaces. High tough surfaces, such as door handles, tables, chairs, canteen areas, bathroom taps, toilets, light switches, phones, computers and laptops, carry a high risk of infection and should be disinfected regularly.
- Clean then disinfect – If a surface is visibly dirty, first clean it with a standard detergent and water. Then use a disinfecting product (one containing at least 70% alcohol) to re-wipe these surfaces to ensure that potentially harmful microorganisms (as well as surface dirt) are removed.
- Don’t wipe cleaning product off as soon as you apply it! For many disinfectant products to be effective, they must stay in contact with the surface for several minutes. A ‘spray and wipe’ approach just won’t work here, as the active agent in the chemical simply doesn’t have time to kill surface bacteria and viruses.
** The information in this blog post is accurate at the time of publication. However, as the situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to change, it's possible that information has changed since being published. While at JanSan we are trying to keep our blog posts as up-to-date as possible, we encourage readers to stay informed on news and recommendations by using the gov.uk website.
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