Due to the new nature of the coronavirus, many offices are struggling to issue policies and responses to stop its spread.
Here are the cleaning and disinfection steps currently recommended by the CDC:
1. Know the difference between cleaning and disinfection
Cleaning, or simply taking out the garbage or giving the floor a sweep, is not enough to curb the spread of this disease. After you’ve done that, put on gloves and use disinfecting products with at least 70 percent alcohol to kill germs on surfaces that people touch often.
“Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces daily in household common areas (e.g. tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, light switches, remotes, handles, desks, toilets, sinks),” the agency recommends.
2. This means going beyond what you can see
Along with the most obvious areas, disinfect spaces that are rarely cleaned but often touched. Think blinds, windows as well as the spaces behind tables and desks.
“Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs,” the CDC advises offices in particular.
3. Frequent hand-washing
You’ve heard it before, but washing your hands often is one of the most effective ways to prevent coronavirus infection. While that falls on each person individually, offices could make it easier for their employees by installing no-touch hand-sanitizer dispensers and providing disinfecting wipes that employees can use.
4. Don’t forget the electronics
Electronics, which we all handle hundreds of times a day, can be a hotbed for germs. Along with washing one’s hands, this should be an obvious step given the frequency of use.
“Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (for example, doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks) can be wiped down by employees before each use,” the CDC says.
5. Carpets and rugs
A deep clean requires all porous surfaces such as carpets, rugs and drapes to be disinfected and laundered. The CDC recommends washing these items at the warmest possible setting and allowing them to dry completely.
6. Do not panic
Even as the increasing numbers of infections pop across your screen, resist the urge to panic and make decisions out of fear. Routine cleaning and basic precautions are all that’s necessary for most offices and people.
“No additional disinfection beyond routine cleaning is recommended at this time,” says the CDC.