We are here to help you navigate the Coronavirus – COVID-19. Call now to learn how we can help you and your business respond to the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
How Does Coronavirus – COVID-19 Spread?
The World Health Organization and U.S. health officials say that the new coronavirus strain, COVID-19, is highly contagious, and it’s likely that the global spread was accelerated through transmission between people who didn’t yet show obvious symptoms.1
Coronavirus spreads mainly through person-to-person contact, such as droplets produced when someone coughs or sneezes. The exact incubation period is unknown, but is believed to be between 7 and 21 days, and the CDC recommends isolation and quarantine for 14 days for those who may have been exposed.2,3
It has been documented that coronavirus can live on surfaces such as door handles, tables, etc. for as long as 9 days, according to a study published in the Journal of Hospital Infection in February 2020.4
What Disinfectants Can Be Used On Coronavirus?
Coronavirus is an enveloped virus, which means that it has an outer wrapping that is relatively easy to penetrate, which renders the virus inactive. 5
Coronavirus/COVID-19 it’s not a living organism, the coronavirus technically can’t be killed. The proper term is that it becomes “inactivated” when its envelope is breached, according to Jeff Jones, the CEO of Bio Sheen and the Director of Forensic Operations for the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC). 6
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides guidance and approves registration of disinfecting agents that can inactivate viruses. COVID-19 is such a new virus that there aren’t any EPA-registered disinfectants specific to the strain that causes COVID-19. No tests currently exist to confirm if the virus is present on hard non-porous surfaces prior to or after disinfection application.
However, there are over 100 approved disinfectants for other coronavirus strains that are also recommended for emerging pathogens and are appropriate disinfectants when used according to the manufacturers’ instructions in the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) and follow the known “dwell times” according to the CDC and the American Chemistry Council Center for Biocide Chemistries (CBC). 7
What Are Bio SoCal’s Disinfection Protocols For Coronavirus/COVID-19?
Bio SoCal has two protocols to apply the appropriate disinfection based on the size of the area to be decontaminated and the contents inside the area that have been exposed. In both cases the surface areas MUST be cleaned to reduce soil and then decontaminate is applied.
CAUTION – Be wary of any company offering to simply apply or fog decontaminate without first cleaning/wiping down the surfaces. The “soil” level must be removed for the disinfectant to work. The analogy is pouring hydrogen peroxide on a puddle of dried coagulated blood, it will ONLY disinfect contaminates on the surface and not contaminates in the layers or the actual surface. It’s not worth the cost savings.
All hard surface touchpoints must first be cleaned with a firm wipe down using a hospital-grade disinfectant called Shockwave. The wipe down will be followed by the application of the hospital-grade disinfectant in a manner that allows for it to stay wet for 7-10 minutes to inactivate the virus.
Bio SoCal uses hospital-grade disinfectants registered by the EPA which are listed on the EPA’s published N-List of Products with Emerging Viral Pathogens AND Human Coronavirus claims for use against SARS-CoV-2
Bio SoCal’s hospital-grade disinfectant machine commonly used in hospitals and healthcare settings across the world is not typically owned by most cleaning companies. HaloMist produces a dry fog by ionizing a Peroxide concentration and Silver based disinfectant, which will decontaminate the entire space and it’s contents. Halomist is safe for sensitive environments. The second and accompanying method is the application of a hospital-grade cleaning disinfectant that is sprayed or wiped on high touch areas requiring cleaning.
It is important to understand that it is often impractical, unfeasible or cost-prohibitive to disinfect every hard surface in a large office or residential building, many of which have hundreds of thousands of square feet of space but in some cases, it may be necessary and we are prepared to cover every square foot affected.
When there is a known or suspected coronavirus contamination, we focus on applying disinfection on high-touch areas and heavily-trafficked common areas that are generally at 6 feet of height and lower, including:
- Door handles, door pulls and doorknobs, doorframes, light switches cabinet knobs, etc.
- Elevators and call buttons
- Drinking fountains
- Conference rooms
- Offices, cubicles, desks or adjacent shared workspaces
- Desk accessories such as the phone keyboard, mouse, stapler, chairs, copiers, fax machines,
- Exercise facilities and gyms
- Security or concierge desks
- Pallet & racking systems, shipping and receiving docks, and material handling equipment.
- Vehicles-trucks, vans, cars, boats, airplanes, helicopters.
Bio SoCal’s highly trained professional Biohazard Technicians wear personal protection equipment (PPE) that exceeds the CDC’s recommendations for the PPE that healthcare workers should wear when treating patients with known or suspected cases of COVID-19. 8
Our PPE standards are:
- Medical-grade nitrile gloves in double-layer
- A bloodborne pathogen rated coverall with booties and hood
- Half mask respirators with appropriate cartridges
- Face shields and or goggles. 9
- Proper removal of PPE to mitigate cross-contamination
Our procedures for cleaning the impacted areas will include, at a minimum:
- Bio SoCal’s disinfecting procedures for COVID-19 are more stringent than the CDC’s current recommendations for businesses, schools, and homes as of the date of this publication.10
- A thorough assessment of the situation and physical space and action plan to ensure all surfaces are addressed utilizing the proper process.
- Treating the impacted area using commercial grade pre-moistened biocide towels that are approved by the EPA for coronavirus to wipe down every high-touch hard surface and allow a “dwell time” of at least 10 minutes or as directed by the manufacturer of the cleaning agent.
- Treating the impacted area using a commercial-grade non-corrosive biocide cleaning agent and or an electrostatic sprayer to “fog” the affected area, including hard-to-reach surfaces such as underneath chairs and tables. The actual treatment is based on the environment and contents.
- It is critical to understand that once an area has been disinfected, it is immediately exposed to possible new contamination by infectious viruses the moment people re-enter the area. No company can offer long-lasting protection, it does not exist.
How Quickly Will Bio SoCal Respond To A Call For Disinfecting Services?
Bio SoCal will respond to requests for disinfecting services on a first come, first served” basis, and we reserve the right to prioritize calls at our sole discretion based on the needs of Critical Infrastructure requests.
We anticipate a surge in demand for services in the coming weeks, and cannot guarantee that we will have the staffing power and available equipment to service every inquiry. It is important to understand that some situations may only need a couple of hours of disinfecting work, while others may require much more substantial cleaning across a larger footprint of space.
Can My Janitorial Service Disinfect For Coronavirus?
Possibly, but do you really want to depend on your janitorial service to clean and disinfect for COVID-19 or trust the experts experienced in infectious disease cleaning and disinfection? Do you want to “clean” to make people feel good or actually mitigate the risk and clean properly? janitorial may be an option if you have complete faith in their cleaning procedures and whether they can properly treat all potential touchpoints in your building and wear the proper PPE and will accept the risks associated with exposure. Are you willing to accept the legal risk of it being done improperly due to a lack of experience? It is important that anyone performing disinfecting services understands and follows the recommendations from the CDC and other officials about which disinfecting agents to use, proper protocols to avoid cross-contamination and inactivate the virus, and proper PPE which may be difficult to acquire. Bio SoCal is well supplies with appropriate POE levels to service our clients.
Property managers should obtain and read the safety data sheet of the disinfecting agent being used, and be sure their janitorial service is following the exact instructions for application and “dwell time” recommended by the manufacturer and pre cleans surfaces or it will not be effective.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines dwell time “the amount of time that a sanitizer or disinfectant must be in contact with the surface, and remain wet, in order to achieve the product’s advertised kill rate.”