If your service provider is offering disinfection cleaning, what questions should I be asking them to confirm they know how to disinfect correctly?

1. What Disinfection Cleaning Process or Guidelines are you following or adhering too?
2. What disinfectant are you using? Is it a sterilant or disinfectant? Is it effective against viruses? Does the cleaner know what the chemical active is?
3. Can you or the manufacturer provide biological efficacy test data?
4. Can you or the manufacturer provide Regulatory Approval Certificates?
5. How is it applied to surfaces?
6. What is the contact or exposure time required to achieve viricidal kill?
7. Is it approved for use in the facility you are cleaning? Is the disinfectant food safe for use in a kitchen? Is it TGA approved for use in a Hospital?
8. Do the cleaning staff understand and been appropriately trained in the use of the disinfectant?
9. If your cleaning company is fogging/fumigating, do they have a Fumigation License and appropriate fumigation qualification? It may illegal to fumigate in your state without a license.
10. Is your cleaning company providing any form of post disinfection certification or validation?

If your cleaning contractor cannot answer these questions confidently, you should question their ability to properly and effectively disinfect your facility. If your cleaning company is not already providing high-level disinfection cleaning or outbreak management response cleaning, they should not be providing it during a Pandemic.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some of these viruses cause illness in people and others circulate among animals, for example, camels, bats and cats. There are several known coronaviruses that infect people and usually only cause mild respiratory disease, such as the common cold. However, at least two previously identified coronaviruses have caused severe disease, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus, SARS-CoV, and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, MERS-CoV. SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV are NOT the cause of the current outbreak.

It is not clear yet how SARS-CoV-2 spreads from person-to-person, however, there are indications that person-to-person spread is occurring, likely between close contacts. Officials are working to understand the implications of possible transmission from infected but asymptomatic persons.

Previous coronaviruses causing illness in people include Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, SARS, and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, MERS. When person-to-person spread occurs with MERS and SARS, it is thought to have happened mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread. The spread of MERS and SARS between people generally occurred between close contacts.

Adopt good personal hygiene and avoid others if you become sick. 

  1. Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. 
  2. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. 
  3. Do not touch your eyes, nose, and mouth unless you have just washed your hands. 
  4. When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your arm, not your hand. 
  5. Stay home if you are sick. Do not visit people in hospitals or long-term care centres if you are sick. 
  6. Get your flu shot. By protecting yourself from the flu, you can ease the burden on the healthcare system and protect others.

For patients with confirmed infections with SARS-CoV-2 reported illnesses have ranged from people with little to no symptoms to people being severely ill and dying. Symptoms can include:

  • cough
  • fever
  • shortness of breath

The CDC believes that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 after exposure.

Person-to-person spread

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Can someone spread the virus without being sick?

  • People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
  • Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

How easily the virus spreads

How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, spreading continually without stopping.

The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some affected geographic areas.

There is no reason to wear a mask if you are well. Masks should be limited to those who are sick or those who are taking care of someone who is ill. There is little evidence that wearing a mask in public prevents a healthy person from becoming ill. Masks may increase risk, as people continually check their masks and touch their faces without first having washed their hands.

Centre for Disease Control (USA)

Coronavirus General:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html

Centre for Disease Control:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html

It is imported to be prepared and adaptable as soon as a COVID-19 case has been reported at your facility. To effectively disinfect your facility promptly here is the top 6 preparation checklists:

  1. Map of your facility is required upon arrival for the Bio-Response Unit to plan the disinfection fogging and touchpoint process effectively. Additionally, to see any rooms or location that could be missed during a general walkthrough.
  2. Tracing of any infected personnel on the live COVID-19 site.
  3. Clearing your facility of any personnel for safety reasons as the disinfection chemicals can be hazardous to occupants if the incorrect PPE is not worn during the disinfection process.
  4. Lock all surrounding doors/gates/areas; therefore, people are not able to enter the premises during the disinfection and “downtime” period. 
  5. Multiple keys – For the Bio-Response Unit to work in a timely matter, it is essential to have various sets of keys to your facility as our Unit will break into smaller teams to complete the decontamination process. 
  6. Have an outside location, undercover if impossible, cleared for disinfection equipment and chemical storage. Safety is vital to our employees and our clients. Having a readerly available undercover area for our Unit to section off for chemical storage, donning/doffing and other safety protocols.