Last week we put out a guide for janitorial companies tackling cleaning in the food service industry, and the nuances of re-opening in that particular sector. This week we’ve gathered what we consider the essential must-know-facts from one of the single most demanding industry on janitorial companies…

    Medical Facilities

    We’ve done our best to collect and organize information here to mitigate the legwork involved just to begin wrapping our head around the requirements that will be asked of you as cleaning company owners.

    As we’ve mentioned before, no two industries will be requiring the same formula for creating the safest environment for members of the public, so we are e dedicating a blog to key sectors we know our customers serve regularly with hopes of equipping janitorial company owners with the most relevant information possible to help them with the difficult task of being bona-fide heroes as the world re-opens.

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    Here are 5 essential facets to cleaning medical facilities:

    1- Getting Started:

    Every cleaning company owner knows that being prepared is paramount to executing your job above and beyond the call of duty.

     

    • Wear disposable gloves to clean and disinfect.

    • Clean surfaces using soap and water, then use disinfectant.

    • Cleaning with soap and water reduces number of germs, dirt and impurities on the surface. Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces.

    • Practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces.

      • More frequent cleaning and disinfection may be required based on level of use.

      • Surfaces and objects in public places, such as shopping carts and point of sale keypads should be cleaned and disinfected before each use.

    • High touch surfaces include:

      • Tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, etc.

    2- Disinfecting and Cleaning are Not Synonymous

    Once you’ve successfully cleaned an area, you still need to disinfect. Just because you’ve cleaned something, doesn’t mean your job is done.

    • Recommend use of EPA-registered household disinfectant.

    • Follow the instructions on the label to ensure safe and effective use of the product.

      Many products recommend:

      • Keeping surface wet for a period of time (see product label).

      • Precautions such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.

    Always closely follow the directions on a label to ensure safe and effective use.

    • Wear skin protection and consider eye protection for potential splash hazards

    • Ensure adequate ventilation

    • Use no more than the amount recommended on the label

    • Use water at room temperature for dilution (unless stated otherwise on the label)

    • Avoid mixing chemical products

    • Label diluted cleaning solutions

    • Store and use chemicals out of the reach of children and pets

    See EPA’s (Environmental Protection Agency) 6 steps for Safe and Effective Disinfectant Use

    3- Soft  and Porous Surfaces Can be a Real Pain Point

    Surfaces such as carpeted floor, rugs, and drapes can hold a lot of dirt and bacteria. Tese areas will be needing extra attention now more than ever.

    • Clean the surface using soap and water or with cleaners appropriate for use on these surfaces.

    • Launder items (if possible) according to the manufacturer’s instructions.Use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely.
      OR

    • Disinfect with an EPA/CDC registered and certified disinfectant. These disinfectants

    The EPA, again

    again, has a list of registered sanitizers labeled for use against the novel coronavirus. Note: There may be additional disinfectants that meet the criteria, and EPA will update the list as needed.

    4- Electronics Get Handled… A LOT.

    Electronics, such as tablets, touch screens, keyboards, remote controls, and ATM machines are  high contact points and require regular disinfecting.

    Follow the recommended use directions closely. Do not reuse the wipes to wipe down multiple surfaces. Throw used wipes in the trash.

    • Consider putting a wipeable cover on electronics.

    • Follow manufacturer’s instruction for cleaning and disinfecting.

      • If no guidance, use alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol. Dry surface thoroughly.

    5- Be Prepared for Potential Infections

    You may be faced with cleaning and disinfecting a building or facility after someone has tested positive for COVID.

    • Close off areas used by the person who is sick.

      • Companies do not necessarily need to close operations, if they can close off affected areas.

    • Open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area.

    • Wait 24 hours before you clean or disinfect. If 24 hours is not feasible, wait as long as possible.

    • Clean and disinfect all areas used by the person who is sick, such as offices, bathrooms, common areas, shared electronic equipment like tablets, touch screens, keyboards, remote controls, and ATM machines.

    • Vacuum the space if needed. Use vacuum equipped with high-efficiency particular air (HEPA) filter, if available.

      • Do not vacuum a room or space that has people in it. Wait until the room or space is empty to vacuum, such as at night, for common spaces, or during the day for private rooms.

      • Consider temporarily turning off room fans and the central HVAC system that services the room or space, so that particles that escape from vacuuming will not circulate throughout the facility.

    • Once area has been appropriately disinfected, it can be opened for use.

      • Workers without close contact with the person who is sick can return to work immediately after disinfection.

    • If more than 7 days since the person who is sick visited or used the facility, additional cleaning and disinfection is not necessary.

      • Continue routing cleaning and disinfection. This includes everyday practices that businesses and communities normally use to maintain a healthy environment.

     

     

    And Remember…

    Regular cleaning staff can clean and disinfect community spaces.

    Ensure they are trained on appropriate use of cleaning and disinfection chemicals.


     

     

    Wear disposable gloves and gowns for all tasks in the cleaning process, including handling trash.

     

     

     

     

    Always wash immediately after removing gloves and after contact with a person who is sick.

     


     

     

     

    Hand sanitizer: If soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly dirty, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol may be used.

    Everyday Preventive Measures

    Person-to-person spread of the virus is suspected to occur mainly via respiratory droplets produced by infected persons (coughing or sneezing). Even though much is still unknown about how the virus spreads, it is important that employees occupying these spaces take these everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of germs

    We hope you’ve found this to be a useful guide.

    f you want to know even more about supplies, best practices, or how other cleaning companies are dealing with things like active COVID cases, feel free to check out our recent webinar, blog, or even treat yourself to a free webinar, or two!

    It is a time where it may be difficult to separate fact from fiction, but we all need to be dedicated, diligent, and believe that things will be changing in a positive direction soon.

    In reaction to the global issue, the expected levels of sanitation have been raised across the board for years to come. The best move is to put long-term plans into place to make these practices your “new normal”. Again, the Swept team will be here throughout this journey to support you. We have your back!

    Swept is dedicated to highlighting stories that keep everyone in the janitorial industry as up to date on world events and in-the-know as possible. Having started as a commercial cleaning company ourselves, our hearts go well beyond the janitorial software we offer. Learn more about Swept’s cleaning company software here. And to keep up on all the trends in the janitorial services industry, subscribe to our blog!

    Want more specific bidding post-COVID knowledge?

    We’ve got several blog post and webinars on the topic for you right here!

    Of course, we know this is just scratching the surface of the know-how you’ll have to equip yourself within the coming months, but we hope this will push your learning in all the right directions.

    If you need more resources from official sources, check out Be sure to see FDA’s Tips for Safe Sanitizer Use and CDC’s Hand Sanitizer Use Considerations  for more information on proper sanitization uses and functions.

    Stay safe out there. 

    Your friends at Swept.

    Tags:
    COVID-19

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