The rapid growth of COVID-19 from an outbreak to a global pandemic showed how quickly a virus could spread. While we've since learned that COVID-19 is transferred mostly through person-to-person transmission, other underlying causes have played a role. Poor hand hygiene, inadequate cleaning of contaminated surfaces, and travel also factored into the increased surge of COVID-19 cases everywhere
This pandemic will likely leave a permanent mark on human behavior and cleaning practices. Most notably are the changes in the way we clean and disinfect surfaces. SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can live on surfaces for days making proper cleaning techniques and correct chemicals essential in meeting the new standard in cleanliness.
Post pandemic, customers, and employees demand a new level of hygiene. Businesses are scrambling to meet the heightened standards of cleanliness. Gone are the days of just dusting and cleaning visibly dirty surfaces, and the era of disinfecting high touch surfaces every 30 minutes is ushered in. Furthermore, the public is far more aware of what constitutes the effectiveness and safety of cleaning products. Getting your hands on those disinfecting products might be more challenging than cleaning, given the high demand as every business, and consumer is on the hunt.
Choosing the right disinfectant
Choosing the right product for the job (and using it correctly) is equally as important as cleaning. When selecting a surface disinfectant, first make sure it is an EPA registered List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). Next, you will want to note the contact time (the time that the disinfectant needs to stay wet on a surface in order to ensure efficacy). If you have a large facility or many areas to disinfect frequently, it is best to choose a product with shorter contact time.
Cleaning should always start from the least soiled (cleanest) area to the most soiled (dirtiest) area to not spread the dirt and germs to less soiled areas. You should wear disposable gloves and discard them after cleaning and disinfecting. If you have reusable gloves, be sure to disinfect them after you're done. Always remember to wash your hands before and after you clean and disinfect.
High-touch areas frequently missed
Dirty hands are always touching kitchen and bathroom faucet handles -- and viruses may hitch a ride. Additionally, those areas are hotspots for yeast, mold, and bacteria like salmonella and E. coli (yikes!).
That smartphone or tablet you're always touching? Viruses can easily transfer from the glass of the screen to your fingertips. You can buy special wipes or check the instructions for the best way to clean the screen.
Does cleaning the clicker make it onto the to-do list? Remotes are one of the most touched but least cleaned items in a home or facility.
People unknowingly pick up germs at home, on the bus, or dropping kids off at school, then carry them into their office, facility or workplace environment. Be sure to wipe down your workspace regularly as viruses can live on hard surfaces up to 8 hours (or a full workday!).
Seriously, wash your hands even if you have already cleaned everything around you. Washing your hands is the first line of defense against getting ill. But you must do it right: Rub your hands together with soap for at least 20 seconds before you rinse. Remember to get the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails. When you cannot get to a sink, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
As the battle against COVID-19 wears on, most of us are feeling some COVID fatigue. Relaxed lockdowns and business opening again have us feeling, at least somewhat, a sense of normalcy. With flu season knocking on summer's door, vigilance needs to make a comeback. Stock up on supplies, review the cleaning list and make sure you're hitting the frequently missed spots, and please, wash your hands!
Safetec of America's pandemic response
As an infection control and pandemic preparedness manufacturer for more than 28 years, Safetec is equipped to provide your customers with high-quality, FDA/EPA certified products and solutions for keeping their facilities safe. Our team follows exemplary quality control procedures when developing and manufacturing products, and complies with the FDA Code of Federal Regulations and EPA guidelines.
Safetec is dedicated to infection prevention. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Safetec has increased production of products that are either effective against the Novel Coronavirus or will help prevent the spread. Click Here to view our COVID-19 product page.