Coronavirus and the cleaning sector

Posted on April 9, 2020 in Cleaning

Coronavirus and the cleaning sector

As cases of Covid-19 continue to rise throughout Europe we would like to discuss whether the professional cleaning sector can play a meaningful role in combating the virus and containing its spread.

We believe the current outbreak is both an opportunity and responsibility for our sector. By having reliable and approved methods and well-trained staff the cleaning sector can lead by example and educate facilities managers and the world at large about effective cleaning and disinfection.

Firstly, let’s look at a few facts and issues:

  1. We know that the virus stays active on surfaces, maybe even for a week or longer;
  2. Touching contaminated surfaces and then touching your mouth, nose and eyes is considered a potential route of transmission;
  3. Faecal matter is currently assumed to be a source of the virus;
  4. The primary route of transmission for the virus is the spread through aerosolised droplets released during sneezing and coughing by an infected and symptomatic person. What is the current strategy to contain the virus on a personal level? Social distancing, good hand hygiene and avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth are on top of the list and that is understandable based on the four points mentioned above.

As you can see, all of them are designed to prevent becoming infected by avoiding and or eliminating the virus. Social distancing will hopefully allow you to avoid people who are sick. Good hand hygiene is all about cleaning/removing and deactivating the virus on a surface (your hands) and not touching your face will prevent a contaminated surface (again, your hand) transmit the virus.

These points of discussion will now lead to a very powerful argument for the cleaning sector. If we are so concerned about our hands and actively promote the use of frequent hand-washing, the use of alcohol based hand cleaners etc, we also need to recognise the fact the surfaces around us are “contaminated” and a potential constant source of biological materials that need to be dealt with.

As such, maintaining clean and safe surfaces especially in high traffic areas is paramount to good infection control and an important containment measure from a public health perspective.

Fortunately, technology is on our side. We have the appropriate chemicals, we have the effective application tools and (hopefully) we have trained specialists that can effectively clean and disinfect surfaces. The importance of this cannot be overstated.

This is actually an opportunity for the cleaning industry to rise to the top and show that they/we are not just “cleaners”. We are instrumental in combating an infectious disease effectively, are an integral part of public health and infection control, and consequently are potentially saving lives!

Now, local and national efforts to clean and disinfect for the coronavirus have made the news lately. China is disinfecting money, Singapore is disinfecting its airport, cruise ships and aeroplanes are being disinfected and now schools are closed for “deep cleaning”.

This shows building and facility owners, property managers, and others are deeply concerned about contaminated surfaces and are in need of reassuring customers, clients and parents for example that their environments are safe.

Alongside social distancing, good hand hygiene and avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth, effective cleaning and disinfecting is a very important pillar in combating the virus and preventing further spread and contamination.

However, it cannot be over-emphasised that this opportunity for the cleaning sector is also a significant responsibility! The cleaning sector has to use approved and reliable methods, have trained staff and communicate their approaches appropriately. Cleaning, disinfecting and communication will be observed by clients and judged by the professional manner in which it is carried out. We cannot just “mop” around.

At Protech Property Solutions we will be enhancing our cleaning services to include periodic disinfecting cleaning as standard within our service specifications going forward.

If you found this article interesting you may be interested in the following:

Coronavirus cleaning guidelines

Deep clean & disinfect your work or home

Disinfection Cleaning Services

The British Institute of Cleaning Science

Coronavirus Cleaning Guidelines

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