Published On 05/07/2020 TO Inside Facility Management

Reopening Checklist

Cleaning and Disinfecting Office

Many businesses have closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your facilities may have been vacant or significantly under-used over the last few months.

As Federal and state governments begin to remove shelter-at-home mandates and allow businesses to open in phases, you will be busy planning your reopening. Here is an overview of items to consider to help you get your facility ready for employees to return.

  1. Approximately two weeks before you allow employees to return, or as soon as you know you will be reopening your facility, contact a professional janitorial team that has experience disinfecting for COVID-19. It can be one you’ve depended on in the past or a new service partner, but make sure they understand your needs, are willing to be flexible and update your SOW as you enter new phases of reopening, and can get the supplies needed before employees return (similar to Flagship’s PUREClean service program). You will need to contact them as early as possible so they can:
    • Realign your scope of work to accommodate post-COVID 19 process such as high touchpoint disinfecting, workplace PPE and social distancing
    • Recall and retrain staff, prepare and update them with guidance and safety measures that are unique to your facility and SOW
    • Obtain all chemicals, equipment and supplies needed to accomplish the desired facility services
    • Resolve any badging issues that may prevent them from being available to prepare your facility to reopen on time.
  2. If possible, before anyone enters the facility, open doors and/or windows to allow fresh air to enter the building. This will stir up dust and anything else that has settled inside the building, so do this before performing HVAC maintenance or disinfection.
  3. Walkthrough the facility and look for water spots, puddling or any damage that may have occurred while the facility was vacant. Complete any necessary repairs or contact professional maintenance teams to perform the work.
  4. Complete a thorough flushing of all water systems and do a test run of every faucet, fountain, toilet, sink and shower. Check for discoloration, smell, debris and clogging.
    • Check the water filtration units throughout the building. Look for abnormal growth of bacteria or mold that may have occurred from non-use. Make sure you check them after you’ve flushed the system so you can also look for damage, such as flaking, cracks or breakage. Replace any questionable or damaged filters.
    • After replacing filtration units, recheck the water system. Changing filters may have cleared up any particles previously showing up in the water.
    • If any issues continue to appear or reappear after a few days, you may need to contact the city and/or a professional.
  5. Have the commercial janitorial team complete an initial facility COVID-19 cleaning and disinfection. This should involve:
    • A thorough wipe down from top to bottom to remove dust and debris
    • Removing all perishables from employee break areas and cleaning the units
    • Sanitizing all water units and drains
    • Low and high dusting
    • Window cleaning
    • Vacuuming and mopping
    • A disinfection of high touch points and/or the entire facility
    • Any other tasks that are needed and outlined
      *Note: the commercial team should meet or exceed CDC guidelines and use EPA-registered disinfectants.
  6. To ensure stronger IAQ, have a maintenance team perform HVAC preventative maintenance and cleaning, including changing out the HVAC filters and checking the ventilation system.
  7. If landscapers have not been completing their normal duties during your shutter, make sure you contact them and have them perform a thorough job, so the outside of your facility has a welcoming appearance for returning employees.
  8. Reconfigure spaces in order to give employees the ability to social distance. This may mean closing or opening areas, putting up one-way signs and changing desk or office configurations. Store unused chairs, monitors, area rugs, and other office items to reduce frequent handling and from protect from contamination.
  9. Set up a plan to increase the frequency of onsite disinfection of high-touch point areas during times occupants are in the facility
  10. Communicate these changes with employees, both incoming and those awaiting future phases of reopening, to help build trust in the health of their facility. A healthy facility will take the help of everyone, including employees.
  11. Make sure employees and occupants also understand their roles in helping to keep your facility clear of contamination. This may include:
    • Taking temperatures before coming to the facility
    • Self-diagnosis of ailments, like cough or fatigue, and staying home if any are experienced
    • Washing hands frequently
    • Keeping desks clear of any files or debris so wipe down and disinfection can take place
    • Self-disinfection of personal items when entering the facility
    • Bringing in their own dishware and flatware, only using drinkware that has a sealed top, and keeping the items in their desk or taking them home when they leave
    • Social distancing, spacing themselves apart, sanitizing their personal areas and community spaces when they enter and leave, or wearing masks, if required.

If you are feeling overwhelmed or find COVID-19 preparations daunting, contact Flagship. Our PUREClean service program is a four-pronged approach to protecting employees in their workplace, and the traveling public in airports, designed to support full, partial, or staged reopening of businesses and states.

For additional information, review the CDC’s Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Homes.

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