Cleaning any space or surface with a cleanser such as soap or detergent reduces a significant amount of germs present and reduces the infection rate risk. However, as it is obvious now, just cleaning is not enough to completely negate the risk of Covid-19. Disinfection must be a natural second step to break the chain of transmission and decrease the burden of this disease.
Disinfect in an Orderly Manner
When dealing with large spaces it is important to plan your cleaning drive beforehand as to not cause a chaotic mess during the process. This is especially hard when the area is cluttered with objects and furniture. Follow a Standard Operating Procedure for the facility in question.
If one does not exist then following government mandates, it is advisable to create your process which will increase your efficiency with every disinfection and reduce any wasting of time. Cleaning and disinfection is required more frequently if there are known infected people in the vicinity or if the place is visited by a lot of traffic (pedestrians).
First of all, plan out your steps. Keep in mind the kind of area you need to be cleaning. If it is an open space or if the area is infrequently visited by people, a simple household cleaner for the floor and basic surfaces based on how much they interact with humans and other infection carrying agents.
The more people coming in contact with the same surface, the higher the risk of infection. Such areas and surfaces must be cleaned and disinfected more often. Another thing to consider is the equipment that you will require through the entire process. It is highly advised to wear sufficient protective gear such as personal protective equipment (PPE) and disinfectants as prescribed by medical experts.
High Touch Surfaces
Some surfaces are bound to be used more often with a higher amount of contact with people, for example switchboards, doorknobs, etc. These must be cleaned more often than the standard once a day sufficient for floors. Ensure the people in charge of cleaning are equipped with sufficient products and supplies to complete their job and it is advisable that all staff follow an SOP while interacting with their surroundings.
Check whether the product used for disinfection is also applicable for cleaning. It may be the case that disinfectants require a separate product for cleaning before being applied. All products come with basic instructions and warnings. It is important to check these before the advent of the cleaning process for your own safety as well as for the best results. If possible, make sure that the area is well ventilated.
Disinfection Methods That Can Be Used Alternatively if Available
Fogging, fumigation and electrostatic spraying also known as wide-area spraying is also an option, though this can be a costlier option. While the price of the machinery is much higher than your common household or even industrial cleansers, if you are required to disinfect large spaces on a regular basis then it would be prudent to invest in one of these machines (if not more) to make the process smoother and seamless. These methods are not for small areas and have several safety risks that require attention.
If this is the route you are willing to take for making your facility virus free then it is important to have a professional at hand to do the deed. If the machine is being run by an amatuer then make sure you have been sufficiently trained for the task and that the method being applied for disinfection truly suits your facility. Lack of proper consideration may cause more damage than necessary hence research and preparation is crucial when dealing with such machinery.
A cautionary measure would also be to ensure that people suffering from medical conditions such as Asthma must clear out well before the process starts as methods such as this can trigger asthma attacks. Ventilation after the process is also required to not cause too much of a cloistering atmosphere.
Spraying cleansing products outdoors or disinfecting large areas such as pedestrian paths, roads or ground cover is not a feasible option neither is it recommended or necessary. Places which are touched often such as railings, public tables or benches must be cleaned regularly and then sprayed or wiped down with a disinfectant.
Disinfection of wooden surfaces must be done while paying attention to the product being used as it may leave stains and overall damage the wood. Doors leading in and out of any place are particularly vulnerable to infected contact as the most liminal space in a specific area.Cleaning and disinfecting community-shared spaces is crucial at a time like this when the risk of infection not just affects an individual but is the society’s to carry as a whole. Following the proper procedure while cleaning and disinfecting is no longer a luxury but the base minimum required to live our lives with relative assurance for our safety.