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As a leading provider of commercial cleaning services in the Metro DC region, we’d like to help clarify a recent revision of cleaning guidelines by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This is especially important as many organizations and businesses proceed with bringing employees back to the office.
WHAT THE CDC SAYS
The CDC guidance continues to maintain that cleaning reduces germs on surfaces and may weaken virus particles, which lowers the risk of infection from surfaces. The agency adds that disinfecting using EPA-listed products kills any remaining germs on surfaces, which further reduces the risk of spreading infection.
The CDC also notes certain conditions that can increase the risk of infection from touching surfaces:
Under these conditions, consider cleaning more frequently or cleaning and disinfecting shared spaces.
The CDC indicates that spaces should be cleaned AND disinfected if a sick person or someone who tested positive for COVID-19 has been in your facility within the last 24 hours.
In response to the agency’s revised guidelines, Building Service Contractors Association International (BSCAI) has issued the following considerations for facility managers as they plan for more people occupying their buildings.
Your maintenance program should include a combination of traditional cleaning and disinfecting. The first step, wiping surfaces with microfiber cloth and cleaning solution, is essential to removing pathogens. The best cleaning programs use EPA-registered disinfectants that kill pathogens instead of simply removing them and possibly transferring them to other surfaces.
Disinfecting techniques such as electrostatic spraying are effective at killing pathogens. These techniques should be used as supplemental procedures by trained professional cleaners when other people are not present. Without proper training and protective equipment, these techniques can be dangerous. BSCAI member companies such as Mister Kleen often have years of experience with these techniques and understand when, where and how to use them.
The best cleaning programs focus not only using the right products, but also the proper cleaning procedures. Your provider should be following clear cleaning protocols, including routine cleaning and disinfection of high touch surfaces with disinfectant cleaner one time per day. Cleaning and disinfection of high touch points would increase in frequency based on traffic and occupancy. Protocols also should include competency validation for janitorial staff and policies for decontamination of spills of blood or other potentially infectious bodily fluids.
Highly effective cleaning programs are re-evaluated over time. Initial facility assessments should identify high touch point areas as well as locations for hand sanitizing stations and signage to help spread awareness about curbing infection. Cleaning procedures should be periodically monitored and re-assessed to ensure that they are consistently and correctly performed.
Mister Kleen is a leading provider of contract cleaning services to Commercial and High Security facilities, including SCIFs, since 1976. Our primary service area is the DC Metro region. We also provide a variety of interior and exterior specialty services, including Disinfection services.