Toronto Office Disinfection Services Prevent Coronavirus Spread | CleanFirst Restoration
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  • April 17, 2020

How The Best Toronto-Area Office Disinfection Service Can Prevent Coronavirus Infection In Your Workplace

 

Note [4/11/2020]: The coronavirus outbreak is a worldwide public health emergency and the situation changes daily. The best way to stay safe is to adhere to public health officials’ latest recommendations, regulations, and restrictions in your area. For more information about the outbreak, recommended disinfecting and sanitizing services, and other tips to prevent coronavirus exposure and infection, see the COVID-19 information and prevention guidelines from the Government of Canada and WHO.

 

The Surface-Level Impacts Of The Coronavirus Outbreak Are Universal

Though the coronavirus outbreak has had varying impacts on different industry sectors and operations, every business is facing the difficult — and often costly — task of preparing and modifying workplaces to prevent coronavirus exposure among staff and customers [1].

 

Every Business Must Take Explicit Steps To Prevent Coronavirus Exposure

For non-essential businesses, the standard actions to prevent coronavirus spread in the workplace are drastic, including: mandated closure, a rapid transition to working from home, and limited office accessibility [2].

For businesses still operating in-person, the necessary steps to prevent coronavirus exposure (and reduce risk of transmission during day-to-day operations) are no less drastic, though they are far less clear-cut. Many people still feel confused about what cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing behaviors are necessary (and what disinfecting and sanitizing products are sufficient) to prevent coronavirus spread to and between vulnerable populations and essential personnel. As a result, there’s little confidence that what businesses are doing to prevent coronavirus exposure in the workplace is enough, with as many as 42% of people still working in open offices stating a strong belief that it’s only a matter of time before their workplace becomes a “hotbed” for infection [3].

 

Social Distancing & DIY Disinfecting And Sanitizing Measures Are Simply Not Enough

Health agencies’ guidance to prevent coronavirus exposure in workspaces note that the best effort is multifaceted [4]. While enacting social distancing, empowering employees to work in isolation, and sending employees home who feel ill are all important and necessary, so too is regular cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing.

While there are resources available listing the DIY disinfecting and sanitizing measures and products that may be most effective to prevent coronavirus outbreaks in your office, DIY strategies cannot replace a well-qualified office disinfecting service for a number of reasons. For one, employees are not disinfecting and sanitizing experts. Moreover, consumer disinfecting and sanitizing products — like wipes and sprays — are not well-suited for every surface, may be difficult to apply effectively to hard-to-reach areas, and often require at least four minutes and up to 10 minutes of “dwell time” (time during which the surface must remain visibly wet in order for the product to fulfill sanitizing and disinfecting promises).

As a result, few consumer-directed disinfecting and sanitizing efforts are as effective as they could be. Some may even create a false sense of safety in the workspace, causing employees to relax otherwise still-critical social distancing steps needed to prevent coronavirus spread.

 

What Is The Difference Between Disinfecting And Sanitizing Vs. Everyday Cleaning

Not all products — or procedures — being used to prevent coronavirus spread are equally effective.

Cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing are critical parts of any effort to prevent coronavirus spread because the virus, having been exhaled by an infected person, can survive on most surfaces for an alarmingly long period of time.  For example, coronavirus persists on paper for about three hours, can survive on fabric surfaces for two days, and on nonwoven fabrics (like some linens, carpets, and automotive seat coverings and safety belts) for up to seven days [5]. People who come into contact with these contaminated surfaces are at risk for infection.

Everyday cleaning can be helpful in efforts to prevent coronavirus exposure because cleaning removes dirt, dust, and other particulate matter from surfaces. It does not, however, kill bacteria or viruses and, consequently, does little to prevent coronavirus persistence [6].

By comparison, disinfecting and sanitizing prevent coronavirus persistence by killing the virus, not just moving it, even after an infected person has directly coughed or breathed onto a surface. That is because the virus itself is, according to environmental health scientists, “wimpy” once an appropriate sanitizing or disinfecting product breaches its fatty protective layer [7].

 

For Businesses Still Open In-Person, Appropriate Disinfecting And Sanitizing Is Essential

Finding adequate disinfecting and sanitizing solutions without overspending on unnecessary and/or ineffective cleaning products or services is increasingly important for multiple reasons:

  • For Staff Member & Customer Safety: First and foremost, every business has a responsibility to keep personnel and customers safe by seeking to prevent coronavirus exposure and transmission as much as possible.
  • For Financial Protection: The balance of most firms’ emergency accounts is already beginning to thin. This makes disinfecting and sanitizing solutions that present the greatest possible value-for-dollar with limited work disruption critical tools to prevent coronavirus-related losses (both short- and long-term).
  • For Brand Credibility: Being able to promise staff and customers a safe workspace and demonstrating a commitment to prevent coronavirus exposure and infection is essential to building credibility and trust during the crisis.

Firms that fail to secure office disinfection services that are both cost- and demonstrably-effective will struggle to survive and recover from the economic impacts of the outbreak. That is because the community will be less likely to lend its support to (or repatronize) a business that appears reticent in its duty to prevent coronavirus exposure, or that appears to place profits over protection of its staff and customers.

 

Characteristics Of High-Quality & Effective Office Disinfection Services To Prevent Coronavirus

The average desk harbors more than 800 bacteria per square inch (a 14x higher density than the average toilet seat)  [8]. Likewise, desktop phones in professional workspaces can harbor as many as 1600 bacteria and viruses per square inch, likely a result of their close proximity to workers’ faces and mouths [9].

Other hotspots to target to prevent coronavirus exposure in the office include common area surfaces and uncommonly-cleaned locations, like the elevator call buttons. This suggests that working with a high-quality office disinfection service is an essential step to prevent coronavirus exposure in your workspace, as daily cleaning and DIY sanitizing and disinfecting procedures leave so much behind.

Moreover, the best office disinfection services:

  1. Use well-known high-efficiency procedures, like fogging with sanitizing and disinfecting products.
  2. Do not just spray sanitizing and disinfecting products into the air (or provide misleading information to consumers about the risk of airborne vs. surface exposure) [10].
  3. Target high-frequency touch surfaces as well as infrequently-cleaned and hard-to-reach surfaces, especially those involved in air circulation [11].
  4. Use commercial-grade products that have a dramatically shorter-than-average dwell time, increasing the likelihood that they will be fully effective in their efforts to prevent coronavirus persistence on surfaces.

 

Prevent Coronavirus-Related Business Losses Now & After The Outbreak Is Over

As the coronavirus outbreak continues to develop, it is increasingly important for business owners to take appropriate disinfecting and sanitizing measures to protect staff and customers at in-person office locations. What’s more, as mandated business closures and social distancing come to an end, firms that make appropriate office disinfection service investments will find it easier and faster to reopen and resume business.

For more information about How CleanFirst’s office disinfection service can prevent coronavirus and other illnesses from spreading within your workplace, see our full service description or contact a disinfecting and sanitizing specialist today.

 

Sources:

  1. https://nationalpost.com/news/amid-covid-19-there-will-be-winners-and-losers-among-canadas-small-businesses-and-some-really-have-no-idea
  2. https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/04/ontario-extends-business-closures-to-stop-the-spread-of-covid-19.html
  3. https://www.businessinsider.com/ways-to-protect-yourself-from-illness-office
  4. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html
  5. https://www.businessinsider.com/how-long-can-coronavirus-live-on-surfaces-how-to-disinfect-2020-3
  6. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cleaning-disinfection.html
  7. https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/03/does-disinfecting-surfaces-really-prevent-spread-coronavirus
  8. https://graphics.wsj.com/annotation/?slug=germ-office&standalone=1#/#4
  9. https://graphics.wsj.com/annotation/?slug=germ-office&standalone=1#/#2
  10. https://www.businessinsider.com/coronavirus-sanitation-disinfection-around-the-world-in-photos-2020-3
  11. https://www.wired.com/story/coronavirus-disinfectant-cleaning-guide/

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