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Cleaning and Disinfecting Will Still Be Crucial Post-Pandemic

Many facilities increased their disinfecting frequencies because of COVID-19. Learn why infection control still matters after the pandemic

Cleaning


The coronavirus pandemic put cleaning and disinfecting in the spotlight. In an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19, many facility managers increased the frequency of cleaning the building and disinfecting common touchpoints.

Although the Delta variant has caused a current increase in cases, there will eventually come a time where the pandemic is behind us. When we do return to normal, infection control should still be a top priority. The coronavirus is not the only disease to plague a facility. Without proper and frequent cleaning and disinfecting, occupants will get sick.

In this video, we talk with Nathalie Doobin, CEO of Harvard Services Group and president elect of the Building Service Contractors Association International (BSCAI), about how facility managers should approach their cleaning services post-pandemic.

Here's a preview:

fnPrime: The pandemic really put the importance of cleaning in the spotlight. Why should facility managers keep up their focus on infection control after the pandemic?

Nathalie Doobin: Hopefully, we will never experience a similar viral outbreak in our lifetimes. Embracing enhanced cleaning regimens is both a health and business imperative that can help reduce the potential for outbreaks and support the nation’s economic recovery. We want to be part of the solution to help get the country ready for business in a safe manner. If we can reduce the number of colds and flu and other communicable diseases through these processes, it can save U.S employers more than $225 billion dollars a year in lost productivity.

The cleaning and safety protocols put in place for COVID-19 are also effective against the flu. In fact, this past flu season saw cases drop by over 50 percent according to OH&S online. Continued infection prevention cleaning not only helps keep people safe from potential future threats but can also help alleviate fears of returning to the office. Therefore, as employers look to facilitate a safe return to in-person operations, the Cleaning Coalition of America, in association with the Building Service Contractor Association International, also known as BSCAI, recommends that businesses consider the following 5 strategies:

  • Strategy 1- Incorporate Routine Disinfecting in their Cleaning Process, Particularly High touch Surfaces. Wiping surfaces with a microfiber cloth and cleaning solution is essential for removing microscopic pathogens. Best-in-class cleaning programs use peroxide-based cleaners and EPA-registered disinfectants.
  • Strategy 2- Create Screening Processes and Install Sanitizing Stations. Building Service Contractors can work with building and facility managers to implement screening processes in lobbies and install sanitizing stations in high-traffic areas.
  • Strategy 3- Is to Develop a Contamination Response Plan. Again, Building and Facility managers can develop a decontamination plan in partnership with trained building service contractors using advanced cleaning techniques and tools, such as electrostatic spraying, to protect against future outbreaks and ensure a streamlined response should a positive COVID-19 case be reported in their building.
  • Strategy 4- is to Increase Visibility of the Cleaning Team. A recent survey by Prudential revealed that 73 percent of Americans are worried that returning to the workplace could pose a threat to their personal health and safety. It’s important that building occupants see onsite cleaning crews and are aware of the updated cleaning protocols.
  • Strategy 5- is to Ensure Proper Communication to Building Occupants. Simply said, in the words of Maya Angelou, “When you know better, you do better.” Clear, consistent communication through signage and transparent updates to building occupants helps everyone understand the importance of following building rules for everyone’s safety. It can also help building occupants feel more comfortable in their workplace.

 
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