Why Janitors & Home Cleaners Aren’t Prepared to Clean After COVID-19
As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic normalizes, businesses large and small are going to have to take measures to ensure their properties are safe for employees and customers alike. However, the unique obstacle it presents is that traces of the virus can be found on surfaces for up to 17 days. While it may be tempting to ask a standard cleaning crew or regular commercial/residential cleaning crew just to do an ‘extra sweep’ or ‘deep cleaning’, these types of cleaners aren’t equipped to disinfect COVID-19, nor are these crews experienced in infectious disease cleaning protocol. On top of the unique personal protective equipment (PPE), cleaning precautions, and OSHA & EPA-approved cleaning chemicals, disposal of infectious waste is highly regulated, requiring specialized licensing, at the state and local levels. This is not common knowledge for the everyday cleaner and puts them at unnecessary risk to become infected themselves as well as spread the disease further.
Janitors Are Anxious & Rightfully So
According to the Wall Street Journal, janitors are currently, “anxious about exposure to the virus as they clean the toilets, kitchens and surfaces touched by dozens or hundreds of people a day in offices, stores and restaurants.” Janitorial staff are not well-versed on cross contamination procedures, how to properly don and doff full PPE, nor do they have access to the proper PPE in the first place.
Janitors and maid services have every right to be anxious. Flattening the curve means that everybody should be minimizing exposure risks wherever possible; and your typical maid or janitorial service simply isn’t equipped to deal with such severe matters. You wouldn’t take a BB gun to go bear hunting and nor should you expect typical household cleaning procedures to stop COVID-19.
Workers Are Showing Up to Clean When Sick
The same Wall Street Journal article above mentions that some workers are still going to work, despite feeling ill. “I go to work anyway because for me to lose a day of work is very hard.” Not having a job for extended periods of time for many of these janitorial workers will not only mean a loss of wages, but lost health insurance that their entire family depends on.
This is a problem not only for the workers themselves, but to everybody else around them. Even if they were to use the same industrial-strength virucidal disinfectants that Aftermath Services uses, the work they’ve done is in vain if they themselves are still carrying and spreading the virus as they clean; especially since they do not have access to proper PPE or proper virus eradication training.
Disposing of Coronavirus-Infected Waste
It’s also vital that residential and commercial cleaners dispose of COVID-19-infected waste properly. Many exposed surfaces cannot just be wiped down in order to be ready for use again. Certain porous materials may need to be completely disposed of following EPA and OSHA regulations.
On top of potentially infected waste and items found in a business or home, it’s also crucial to dispose of all used equipment including masks, gloves, and any other contaminated equipment in a lined container before disposing of them with other waste.
For more information on biohazardous waste disposal, see our blog post on the subject.
Commercial Infectious Disease Cleaning Should Be Performed by Licensed Professionals
It is paramount that COVID-19 disinfection be performed by a company with the proper permitting, training, and experience. Otherwise you, your business, customers and employees could face potentially catastrophic ramifications. Don’t put your livelihood or health at risk, rely on a biohazard company that adheres to OSHA, CDC and EPA-approved processes, procedures, and virucide chemicals.
With this being such a new phenomenon with so many unknown factors at play, the best thing you can do right now is to prepare. If worse comes to worst and your business does experience coronavirus infection, there’s no need to panic. Aftermath offers COVID-19 cleanup to disinfect your workplace. We adhere to a stringent coronavirus demobilization process for our equipment, trucks and waste storage areas and also have the proper licensing/permitting to legally and safely perform the cleaning.
For more information on our coronavirus cleaning methods, visit our website or call 877-769-6917.