In the Covid-19 world, the paradigm is always shifting: its severity, how it’s spread and disinfection methods seem to be updated on an almost weekly basis. Although modern disinfection is a science that has been in practice in the medical and microbiology field for nearly two centuries, the methods are not widely known to the general public.
In fact, there are a lot of variables when it comes to proper disinfecting, including chemicals, dwell times, surface material, and the infecting pathogen. Covid-19 [SARS-CoV-2] is an enveloped virus, which means “[It] has an outer protective lipid coat. Anything that effectively disrupts this outer membrane, in turn, can kill the virus,” says Brendaliz Santiago-Narvaez, PhD, an assistant professor of biology at Rollins College in Florida. Although this makes the virus sound impermeable, it is actually the easiest type of virus to kill. Regular soap and water is effective in killing Covid-19 on hands as long as hand washing is done properly. It’s also beneficial to understand which chemicals are effective in killing the disease. The Rotavirus, Rhinovirus, and Norovirus are harder to kill than the Coronavirus. This means that if a product is effective in killing these pathogens, it will be effective against Covid-19 as well. Even milder chemicals, such as a concentration of >70% isopropyl alcohol, can be used to kill the Coronavirus on glass surfaces.
Maintaining a disinfected home is difficult enough, but what about commercial space? If you are concerned about your office or warehouse being effectively disinfected, it’s best to contact a reputable cleaning service in your local area. This way you can rest assured that the proper chemicals are being applied and that the correct dwell times are observed. Professional cleaners adhere to the CDC’s list of chemicals that are effective against Covid-19, as well as their ratio approved by the EPA. They also have the knowhow on rag-cleaning without cross contamination and the frequency in changing out the cleaning cloths. Many times, they have improved disinfecting technology that enables them to disinfect large areas at a time and update the technology as new discoveries of the disease are being made. For example, many companies have moved past foggers, which only create droplets in the air to disinfect where they are directly sprayed; and are now implementing electrostatic sprayers. These create an electrostatic charge of EPA-approved cleaning solution droplets that are attracted to surfaces, allowing them to disinfect 360° of the object they’re disinfecting (as long as they’re within six feet of it).
As mentioned in my previous blog post, there are steps that can be taken in the office or warehouse that can decrease the spread of Covid-19. One method that is completely fail proof is maintaining the air quality through a lower air temperature and through the installation of either stand-alone air purifiers or of HEPA filters in the HVAC system. However, deep disinfecting of the office should be left in the hands of a professional cleaning company to ensure it is done right.
Elizabeth Carter, Office Manager at Country Club Janitorial