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. It 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 more than 80 approved disinfectants for other coronavirus strains that are also approved 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.
Bio SoCal uses a hospital grade disinfectant machine that produces a dry fog that is Peroxide concentration and Silver based, which will decontaminate the entire space. The second and accompanying method is the application of a hospital grade disinfectant that is sprayed on and wiped from sensitive contents or high touch areas requiring specific touch such as doorknobs sink knobs etc.
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.
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 etc.
- Elevators and call buttons
- Drinking fountains
- Conference rooms
- The offices, desks or shared work spaces of people who may have the virus, and adjacent areas
- Exercise facilities and gyms
- Security or concierge desks
Bio SoCal’s highly trained professional Biohazard Technicians wear appropriate 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
- A bloodborne pathogen rated coverall with booties and hood
- Face shields and or goggles. 9
Our procedures for cleaning the impacted areas will include, at a minimum:
- Thorough assessment of the situation and physical space
- Treating the impacted area using commercial grade pre-moistened biocide towelettes that are approved by the EPA for coronavirus to wipe down every high-touch hard surface and allow a “dwell time” of at least 1 minute or as directed by the manufacturer of the cleaning agent.
- Treating the impacted area using a commercial grade non-corrosive biocide cleaning agent and an electrostatic sprayer to “fog” the affected area, including hard-to-reach surfaces such as underneath chairs and tables.
- Bio SoCal’s disinfecting procedures for coronavirus are more stringent than the CDC’s current recommendations for businesses, schools and homes as of the date of this publication.10
- 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.
How Quickly Can Bio SoCal Respond To A Call For Disinfecting Services?
Bio SoCal will handle requests for disinfecting services on first come, first served” basis, and we reserve the right to prioritize calls at our sole discretion based in 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. It depends on their cleaning procedures and whether they can properly treat all potential touch points in your building and have the proper PPE and will accept the risks associated with exposure. 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.
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.
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.”