There is much to learn about the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Based on what is currently known about the virus and about similar coronaviruses that cause SARS and MERS, according to the CDC, spread from person-to-person happens most frequently among close contacts (within about 6 feet). This type of transmission occurs via respiratory droplets, but disease transmission via infectious aerosols is currently uncertain. Transmission of coronavirus in general occurs much more commonly through respiratory droplets than through fomites. Current evidence suggests that SARSCoV-2 may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials. Cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in community settings.
It is unknown how long the air inside a room occupied by someone with confirmed COVID-19 remains potentially infectious. Facilities will need to consider factors such as the size of the room and the ventilation system design (including flow rate [air changes per hour] and location of supply and exhaust vents) when deciding how long to close off rooms or areas used by ill persons before beginning disinfection. Taking measures to improve ventilation in an area or room where someone was ill or suspected to be ill with COVID-19 will help shorten the time it
takes respiratory droplets to be removed from the air.
The CDC guidance provides recommendations on the cleaning and disinfection of rooms or areas occupied by those with suspected or with confirmed COVID-19. It is aimed at limiting the survival of SARS-CoV-2 in key environments. These recommendations are useful to us as we mitigate and remediate COVID-19 spread.
COVID-19 mitigation is driving cleaning guidance across the country by state. The state of PA recently issued cleaning protocols for buildings 50,000 square feet or more. The state tells owners of big buildings to disinfect and clean more by expanding the level of cleaning and disinfectant regulations for buildings that have 50,000 square feet or more to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The new regulations, signed by Pennsylvania Health Secretary cover those buildings and businesses that are allowed to continue operating. Details of the regulation are:
(1) In addition to maintaining pre-existing cleaning protocols established in the facility, as specified in paragraph (2) below, clean and disinfect high-touch areas routinely in accordance with CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines, in spaces that are accessible to customer, tenants or other individuals.
(2) Maintain pre-existing cleaning protocols established in the facility for all other areas of the building.
(3) Ensure that the facility has a sufficient number of employees to perform the above protocols effectively and in a manner that ensures the safety of occupants and employees.
(4) Ensure that the facility has a sufficient number of security employees to control access, maintain order and enforce social distancing of at least 6 feet, provided the security employees are otherwise responsible for such enforcement.
Transcend Facility Management Company is on the front lines helping our clients navigate this new reality. We guard against health risk to facilities where people live, eat, work, learn, worship, and recuperate by employing state of the art resources to properly clean and disinfect.