The definition of “clean” has changed. The health of your employees and occupants after the infiltration of the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way the commercial cleaning process is done and how seriously it’s taken.
Best Practices for Fighting this and Future Threats to Facilities
It is important to start establishing everyday preventive actions within your facility and for your staff. Whether your facility is currently open, or if you will be opening your doors once you’re able, you need to begin creating new processes and best practices to ensure the health of your facility and its occupants.
If you’ve been shuttered, you’ll need to communicate with staff the measures you’ve taken to clean, sanitize and help prevent any spread of COVID-19 within your facility walls. Since you should be communicating with your employees on a regular basis already, this is an easy addition to your in-house communications. Discuss steps you’ve taken; this can include:
- Removal of all debris and trash that’s accumulated since shuttering
- Donation or removal of perishable items
- Disinfection of all surfaces
- Deep cleaning of carpets and flooring
- Any updates you’ve made to your facility (painting, rearranging or adding space between work areas, established social distancing markers)
- Cleaned ventilation and replaced HVAC filters
Getting Back to Work
State and Federal governments are considering allowing non-essential businesses to open as we “flatten the curve” for COVID-19. Your facility may be allowed to unshutter while COVID-19 is still active as long as you take proper precautions. Even if you wait until after COVID-19 is “contained”, as we’ve seen from China, the possibility of re-contamination is a continued threat.
Your facility will not only need to be sanitized from top to bottom before bringing employees back, but you’ll also need to update your cleaning routines to continue to have a healthy facility.
- Before anyone returns, you should have a thorough cleaning and disinfection of the entire facility with EPA recommended solutions.
- Establish a process for routine wipe downs of high-touch areas throughout the day, including bathrooms, door handles and gathering areas like meeting rooms, break rooms and kitchens.
- Continue to encourage social distancing with signs, floor markers, and by rearranging work areas. Ask employees to take their temperature every day before coming to work and to not come to the facility if they have a fever or are feeling ill (updating the PTO and work from home policy manuals is highly encouraged).
- Provide sanitation stations, cleaning solutions and/or wipes throughout the workplace for staff to use throughout the day. If constant distancing is an issue, provide cloth masks, gloves or other PPE to protect employees.
- Place posters and signs around the facility reminding occupants to practice good hygiene, regularly wash their hands, sanitize and keep their work area disinfected.
- Bring in a COVID-trained crew at night to fully prep, clean and disinfect the facility with EPA approved solutions and avoid any cross-contamination. When communicating with the team, make sure you understand the difference between clean, sanitize, disinfect and sterilization and their process for each.
- Establish a step-by-step response plan should anyone in your facility feel ill or be diagnosed with COVID-19.
We’re Not Going Back
Whether you have a slow opening with staggered staff, or you swing your doors open wide the moment you can, there will be steps you need to take. Use this time to establish communications, processes and controls for your facility so your opening can occur quickly and safely. A new standard for clean has been set and in order to gain and keep the trust of your occupants, you will need to meet or surpass those standards.
If you need help or have questions about what to do, we’re here to help. Flagship Facility Services has over 30 years of experience, we have updated processes and regimens based on the COVID-19 virus and we’ve helped essential businesses stay clean and safe through the pandemic. Reach out if you need anything.
Since early January, Flagship has reported on the COVID-19 coronavirus and presented ways companies and airports can prepare and protect their occupants. You can access Flagship’s dedicated coronavirus information hub, which includes past articles, videos, printable materials, updates from the CDC and the World Health Organization.