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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Reopening Day Coronavirus Cleaning: What Businesses Should Know

5/5/2020 (Permalink)

gloved hand holding spray bottle Reopening After Coronavirus

Texas is gradually yet cautiously reopening businesses after many weeks of statewide closures due to the Coronavirus. We look forward to easing back into our familiar activities and habits, but we must do so in a way that avoids a spike in COVID-19 cases.

If and when they are ready, the following businesses are allowed to reopen starting May 1st (per phase one of Governor Abbott’s reopening plan): retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters, and malls at 25% capacity. The next phase will allow additional categories of businesses to reopen.

Public use spaces are of the utmost concern when assessing the risk of viral spread. Since areas where people congregate are most susceptible to spreading the virus, we must ensure these places are properly managed.

Examples Of Businesses With Communal Area Risk:

  • Restaurant dining areas
  • Churches
  • Hotels
  • Venues
  • Theaters
  • Daycare centers
  • Private schools
  • Bars
  • Gyms
  • Arcades
  • Bowling alleys

Implementing standard operating procedures that are proactive against the spread of disease improves the chances of businesses reopening and remaining open. We do so by abiding by standard practices set in place by the CDC reopening directives.

Working together as a community to make reopening efforts a success, we must continue to abide by health and safety practices such as social distancing, staying home when ill, frequent handwashing, etc. 

We’re amazed to see how our local businesses have been able to adapt to a new normal. We are here to do our part to help businesses safely and confidently prepare for reopening.

Steps to Create an Effective Cleaning Guideline for Your Business

1. Develop Your Plan

A complete and thorough plan accounts for every square foot of the business facility with special emphasis on areas most frequently used by humans - both workers and customers. 

Having a comprehensive hygiene and safety plan in place is essential to a successful reopening. This consists of both the cleaning process before opening as well as ongoing sanitary maintenance.

As staff and patrons acclimate into a new normal, having a solid plan in place that includes thorough cleaning guidelines and best practices are essential. Your plan is fundamental in reestablishing confidence in resuming the use of your space. 

We begin this plan with an inventory of what needs to be cleaned, what requires disinfection, and what equipment is needed to promote safe operations. 

Determine What Needs to Be Cleaned

Businesses that have been shut down for a while will need a thorough top to bottom cleaning - especially the “high touch” areas but also areas that are rarely or never touched.

It may help to print out a map of your entire facility including the exterior property. Mark off the places where most human activity and contact occurs. 

A map allows you to account for all areas of the premises to ensure that each and every section has been clean. Then you can refer to the specially marked hot spots that need more concentrated attention for sanitation.

The CDC put together an at-a-glance cleaning and disinfection decision tool for national reopening operations. It provides core cleaning guidelines and instructions for properties in general.

Refer to guides specific to your industry and consult with your colleagues to get a complete cleaning plan together.

Determine What Needs to Be Disinfected

Surfaces should be cleaned with EPA approved disinfectants that are specifically intended to combat COVID-19. Closely follow the product directions for maximum effectiveness. (Refer to the EPA guide and list of SARS-CoV-2 disinfectants).

The CDC advises the public to be mindful of “the high touch areas” when it comes to public spaces. Frequent contact with these areas requires increased sanitation for both routing surface cleaning and persistent hand washing.

Examples of Common High Touch Areas:

  • ATM machines
  • Countertops
  • Desks
  • Doorknobs
  • Faucets and sinks
  • Gas pump handles
  • Handles
  • Keyboards
  • Light switches
  • Phones
  • Tables
  • Toilets
  • Touch screens

Seek checklists specific to your business type and consult with your staff to account for all areas that are known for harboring germs and what ought to be sanitized most frequently.

Determine What Equipment and Items are Needed

Once you understand what needs to be clean, double-check that you have everything you need to complete a thorough job.

For some cleaning solutions and procedures, it’s necessary to use special PPE (personal protective equipment) or gloves. When the use of fumigants or fogs is required, this may require special equipment or specialists trained to safely use such products.

Our SERVPRO team is equipped and has the professional expertise to conduct a thorough commercial cleaning (including processes that require complete PPE).

Unsure if you have everything you need? Give us a call at (817) 589-1499. We are happy to answer any questions you have about supplies and procedures.

2. Implement Your Plan

Once you’ve integrated all the necessary information to finalize your complete plan and cleaning guidelines, it’s time to execute your reopening plan.

We start this procedure by cleaning areas that appear to be dirty and use the appropriate cleaning products.

Clean Visibility Dirty Surfaces

Inspect all areas inside and outside for surfaces that look dingy, grimy, or otherwise unclean. 

To prepare for the disinfectant application, clean all of these surfaces with soap and water.

Remember to properly clean porous materials such as textiles, rugs, seats, etc., using the appropriate methods. 

For example, launder cloth products according to washing instructions with the appropriate strength of detergent at the warmest temperature possible. Make sure fabrics and rugs are completely dried.

Remember to use proper PPE and thoroughly wash your hands after you’ve finished cleaning.

Use Appropriate Disinfectant and Cleaning Products

Once the dirty surfaces have been washed and dried, we can begin using disinfectants on these same surfaces. 

Read the complete cleaning instructions for the proper use of the disinfectant including the use of proper PPE. 

Train your staff to use the disinfectant as explicitly directed by the instruction details. This ensures worker safety and optimal effectiveness. Remember to use proper ventilation when using chemicals.

Remind your staff to wash their hands thoroughly after handling disinfectant and cleanse any skin that may come in contact with the disinfectant. 

Carefully use disinfectant wherever needed and per the directions safeguards staff and patrons from hazards (both germs and cleaning products).

3. Maintain and Revise Plan

New habits are created through repetition and accountability.  These efforts stem from a commitment to consistently follow through with the new standard operating procedure.

Auditing your process with daily checklists, inspections, and training drills will help solidify the new policies that work to prevent the spread of viruses.

Health and safety practices should also include stay at home policies for sick employees and customers. Be proactive to ensure that symptomatic employees and customers are promptly directed away from public spaces. 

CDC guidelines advise that employees with symptoms of COVID should self-isolate for 7 days, and return to work once they have been symptom-free for at least 3 days (without medication).

But we remember that because of COVID-19 so much changed practically overnight. Texas businesses have already adapted to change, but we must remain vigilant and flexible to emerging issues.

Be resolute with your best practices, but also prepared to modify these plans when necessary.

Follow National and Local Government Guidance

One very important reason to be ready for plan modifications is the possibility of policy change at the city, county, state, and national levels.

Monitor the following websites for updates:

Other regulatory organizations specific to your industry may be of high relevance to your business practices. Stay up to date with those resources as well. 

Signing up for alerts and following social media accounts is also helpful to keep up with urgent announcements.

Coronavirus Cleaning and Decontamination Services for Reopening

SERVPRO of North Richland Hills has been promoting public health in the Dallas Fort Worth area with 34 years of superior industrial cleaning services including biohazard cleanup.

We’re honored to put our decades of experience to good use by cleaning hundreds of thousands of square feet in areas affected by confirmed cases of COVID-19.

We’ve come to the aid of homeowners, first responders, airports, as well as many types of businesses including shipping, manufacturing, healthcare, etc.

Some cleaning companies may charge less for services and this is typically due to workers not using proper PPE. Because health and safety are our highest priority, we don’t cut corners on protection equipment for our frontline workers. We ensure that our technicians have sufficient protective equipment.

Our professional technicians have everything they need to perform complete bioremediation services that thoroughly clean, disinfect, and sanitize properties.

What We Have To Offer Our Local Businesses:

  • 24/7 emergency cleaning services. This means we work around your hours of operation. If it works best for you to have the job done overnight, we make it happen.
  • SERVPRO continues to be the most renowned cleaning, decontamination, and restoration brand in the country. International airports and federal agency operations have trusted our IICRC trained technicians and industrial-grade disinfectant to properly sanitize affected properties. 
  • No matter the size of the job site, we have the right services and equipment to see it through.
  • Effective and professional bioremediation services will completely clean, disinfect, and sanitize the job site.
  • Perform the work with uncompromising safety and hygiene standards.
  • We apply CDC-recommended & EPA-registered disinfectants to all porous and non-porous surfaces, such as walls up to 8 feet. 
  • We are cautious with moisture-sensitive surfaces and carefully wipe such items with a disinfectant-wet towelette. 
  • Wipe down high-touch surfaces. 
  • Issue a certification that your property was professionally cleaned by SERVPRO of North Richland Hills. 
  • Social media announcement to inform the public that your business was cleaned by SERVPRO of North Richland Hills and is ready to re-open to patrons.
  • Our refresh services include:
    • Air duct cleaning with new a/c filters
    • Carpet cleaning
    • HEPA air scrubbing
    • Upholstery cleaning

Our SERVPRO of North Richland Hills mission is to support our local businesses in adapting to the new normal and in reopening their facilities in a safe and conscientious way. 

Our goal is to empower your business to reopen with confidence! The staff and the patrons may be a bit unsure about returning to a business that has been closed for a while, but we believe that a thoroughly cleaned premises with a proactive maintenance plan in place goes a long way in bringing peace of mind for all involved.

We’re here to support you in your reopening! Call us today with your questions at (817) 589-1499 or complete our quick and easy contact form anytime.

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