How Coronavirus Spreads:
When a person sneezes or coughs, transmission occurs via respiratory droplets produced by the infected person; or when the contaminated person touches any surface, it is possible to be contaminated by touching the surface and bringing your unwashed hands to your eyes, nose or mouth. Contamination becomes easier as the viral load (amount of virus present in each person) increases.
At current, the Indian variant of coronavirus is the most concerning as the viral load is highest. However, this actually doesn’t change how a contaminated area is disinfected – if an area is perceived to be contaminated it must be approached with utmost care and precaution. It is important to assume that the respiratory droplets have contaminated everything in the space, including the air itself. Which follows the same principles of other bio-hazard disinfection protocols and minimises the risk of infection.
How SGA Effectively Disinfect Coronavirus Contaminated Areas:
1. Lead Time: The infected individual must not be present and hopefully is now in isolation. Once notified ideally the site has been shut down for a few hours. It is advised by the QLD government to not enter an infected site until 60 minutes have passed minimum. With the varying strains and viral loads, we suggest at least 3 hours to mitigate the risk of airborne droplets.
2. PPE: All personal protective gear must be put on and taken off/disposed of using correct hygienic sequencing. Our digital training found here, shows you exactly how to do this. Ensure that a P2 grade mask at minimum is used. Disposable PPE is preferred to optimally dispose of contaminated PPE cost-effectively. i.e. disposable painters suit, disposable P2 mask, disposable gloves. Ensure full coverage of PPE at all times when inside the contaminated area.
3. Disinfection: To ensure that the job is done correctly, a viricidal chemical must be used. SGA most frequently use two Ecolab chemicals: Drysan Duo which is an alcohol-based chemical and primarily used for electronics and other water or chemical sensitive items. SaniMaxx is the other, which is ammonium Quat based and used for all other non-sensitive applications. Ensure the chemical you decide to use is listed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as effective and for good measure, we ensure the chemical is titrated correctly – a slightly higher titration is used for optimal kill time reducing the contact time required to sterilise. The CDC notes that even an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with at least 60% alcohol, will effectively kill the virus. (cdc.gov) It is worth noting that high touch surfaces should be given extra care when disinfecting the contaminated areas.
SGA use disposable chucks and microfibre cloths to spray and wipe the surfaces. It is important when using the chucks that they are disposed of and replaced with relatively high frequency. Start the cleaning process in the cleanest areas and finish in the dirtier areas, be sure to remove any build-up on dirty surfaces so the chemical can effectively disinfect the surface. (qld.gov.au) Additionally, when cleaning ensures you follow a hygienic sequence so areas that have been cleaned are not entered again, this prevents cross-contamination between the areas you have cleaned and those you haven’t.
4. Disposal: To appropriately dispose of throw-away items & cleaning equipment, thick garbage bags should be used. The disposal should follow a logical sequence – as the cleaning process takes place, dispose of items as you go, directly into a garbage bag. Once cleaning is complete, tape the garbage bag shut with bio-hazard tape and dispose of it appropriately. Waste management should not be overlooked when handling bio-hazardous material.
5. iAudit Report: To accompany thorough disinfection, a detailed audit will be necessary to get government clearance for the site to re-open. You can use the new coronavirus cleaning completion from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to guide you. However, at SGA we go above and beyond with geolocated photos of every surface, area and item being cleaned in the facility. Chemical information is paired with each photo. This is what made SGA the go-to coronavirus deep cleaners in the food & beverage industry as we were able to get facilities cleared for a restart of operations that others couldn’t.
6. Clearance letter: Lastly, we send off a clearance letter with the iAudit report as a guarantee of our quality of work. SGA has a 100% clearance rate. We always come through for our customers to ensure they can reopen ASAP.
SGA hope you find the downloadable reactive COVID-19 cleaning action plan of value. It details information around PPE, chemical, cleaning processes, managing high touch surfaces, environmental cleaning, contamination of surfaces, waste management and hygienic sequencing. The action plan will step you through the protocol we use to effectively and efficiently conduct a coronavirus deep disinfection. Hopefully, you’ll never need to use it!
Stay Safe, The SGA team