COVID & Reopening Your Facilities [Guide]

What do I need to do to reopen my facilities after coronavirus?

AFTER you have made the decision of reopening your facilities that you closed down because of coronavirus, but BEFORE you reopen your facilities, you should:

  1. Make a plan for how you will clean and disinfect for reopening
  2. Schedule you ongoing cleaning and disinfection
  3. Prepare a plan for if or when you suspect or confirm a coronavirus case

Develop a Plan For Cleaning & Disinfection

Cleaning and disinfecting public spaces requires you to:

  1. Develop your plan
  2. Implement your plan
  3. Maintain and revise your plan

Reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 by cleaning and disinfection is an important part of reopening your facilities and will require careful planning.

Create disinfection protocols for both daytime AND nighttime cleaning.

Basic cleaning alone will not kill the virus, but it will help remove a majority of it, prior to any disinfecting. Make sure your cleaning contractor is spending the necessary time needed to do a thorough level of clean. If there is dirt present, know that the virus can still live within it.

  • Make sure your cleaning contractor is disinfecting their own equipment. It’s crucial to clean and disinfect the equipment daily. Use HEPA-based Green Certified vacuums so any vacuumed-up dust or dirt will not spread, germs included.
  • Ask if your cleaning contractor uses any other processes to reduce or eliminate cross-contamination.
    • Are they using color-coded microfiber?
    • Are they using the same rag in the restroom as they are in the classroom?
    • Are they using the same mop in the kitchen areas as they are in the hallways?
    • Is there a possibility of cross-contamination from room to room?
  • What steps are your cleaning company taking to keep their staff health and safe?
    • Are temperature checks being made?
    • Are they using PPE at all times?
    • Are they using it even if the school is closed for the evening?

Create a Cleaning & Disinfection Plan

Assess your workplace, school, office, church, or medical office to determine what kinds of surfaces and materials you have in the facilities. The majority of your surfaces and objects will just need normal routine cleaning. Frequently touched surfaces and objects like light switches and doorknobs will need to be cleaned and then disinfected to further reduce the risk of germs on surfaces and objects.

  • FIRST, clean the surface or object with soap and water.
  • THEN, disinfect using an EPA-approved disinfectantexternal.
  • If an EPA-approved disinfectant is not available, you can use 1/3 cup of bleach added to 1 gallon of water, or 70% alcohol solutions to disinfect. Do not mix bleach or other cleaning and disinfection products together. Bleach solutions will be effective for disinfection up to 24 hours.  Find additional information on the website of CDC: Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility.

Consider the items you can move or remove completely to reduce frequent touch or contact from multiple people. Soft and porous materials, such as area rugs and seating, may be removed or stored to reduce the need for cleaning and disinfection.

IMPORTANT:

Your plan should include how to maintain a cleaning and disinfecting process after reopening. Develop a flexible plan with your staff, adjusting the plan to follow federal, state, or local guidance.

If you need help creating a plan, please call Universal Janitorial Services, we will be more than happy to help create one for you.

Has the area been unoccupied for the last 7 days?

If your facilities have been unoccupied for 7 days or more, your will only need apply normal routine cleaning to reopen the facilities. This is because the virus that causes COVID-19 has not been shown to survive on surfaces longer than this time.

Only Use EPA Approved Disinfectants

Using EPA approved disinfectants is PARAMOUNT

The virus that causes COVID-19 can be killed if you use the right products.

EPA has compiled a list of disinfectant products that can be used against COVID-19, including ready-to-use sprays, concentrates, and wipes. Each product has been TESTED and CONFIRMED to be effective against viruses that are harder to kill than viruses like the one that causes COVID-19.

Using other products for manual disinfection, electrostatic disinfection, or other, is high-risk and is likely to prove ineffective.

See EPA’s 6 steps for Safe and Effective Disinfectant Useexternal icon

Special considerations should be made for people with asthma and they should not be present when cleaning and disinfecting is happening as this can trigger asthma exacerbations. Learn more about reducing asthma triggers.

The Great “What-If?”

No school or cleaning company can guarantee that everyone will always remain safe. There is always a high risk of contamination within your school during this school year. The only way to reduce it further or to eliminate it is to keep your staff and students there 24/7 with no outside visitors or guests. That’s unrealistic.

There’ll always be a chance that an asymptomatic relative passes along SARS-CoV-2, or a momentary cough inside a grocery store, or a school guest picking it up during a routine doctor’s visit the week before. It can happen.

What to do if you suspect or have a confirmed occurrence of Covid-19

Create a plan for the occurance or suspicion of a virus case.

Call a professional commercial cleaning company with expertise in disinfection. There are specialized commercial disinfection services that are experienced in electrostatic disinfection and Covid-19 clean up.

What is the difference between cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing?

Cleaning removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces or objects. Cleaning works by using soap (or detergent) and water to physically remove germs from surfaces. This process does not necessarily kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.

Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces or objects. Disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces or objects. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.

Sanitizing lowers the number of germs on surfaces or objects to a safe level, as judged by public health standards or requirements. This process works by either cleaning or disinfecting surfaces or objects to lower the risk of spreading infection.