Although the common cold, COVID-19, and influenza can strike any time of year, the winter months are well-known as the worst time for viruses to spread among people of all ages. The flu typically hits its stride in December and peaks in February, the coldest stretch of weather for most of the United States.
While it’s a myth that cold temperatures cause colds or the flu, the viruses that cause both infections thrive in cold and dry conditions. Viruses usually enter through the mouth and nose, and our noses were designed to defend against them. Unfortunately, cold weather can slow down the ability of human noses to clear mucus (gross, we know), which makes it easier for bodies to become infected with viruses.
Since people spend most of their time indoors during the winter, being proactive with commercial cleaning and disinfecting is crucial. Indoor spaces tend to have poor ventilation compared to the great outdoors, and heating systems create drier air. These two factors contribute to the transmission of respiratory viruses.
Cleaning and disinfection plans for offices, business facilities, and busy healthcare centers are essential to reduce the spread of germs.
Be Prepared to Combat Germs with a Disinfection Plan
Commercial cleaning and disinfecting plans are crucial for any facility, but especially so for health centers where people with viruses, germs, and lowered immunity congregate.
Implementing comprehensive commercial disinfectant cleaning services to help minimize the spread of viruses from surface contact is crucial. The influenza virus can live up to eight hours on certain surfaces. COVID-19 was found, under experimental conditions, to stay viable in the air for three hours.
Determine the Hot Spots
A worthwhile disinfection plan will address the areas that need to be cleaned and disinfected. A healthcare facility should identify the primary contact spots and schedule thorough cleanings three times per day. These “hot spots” may include the restrooms, lobby, break room, and any of the highest traffic areas in the building.
Clean High Touch Surfaces
Since healthcare facilities are much more likely to harbor bacteria and viruses than the average home or business, surfaces need to be cleaned more often.
Properly disinfect surfaces such as door handles, keyboards, refrigerators, counters, sinks, toilets, vending machines, and water fountains to reduce the spread of germs among employees, patients, and other visitors. Everyday items like pens, clipboards, and other office equipment should be considered and cleaned, too.
Hiring commercial disinfecting cleaning services to manage these tasks in your medical facility will help to keep everything running efficiently. With the current healthcare staffing shortages, outsourcing cleaning and disinfecting is more important than ever for taking care of your team.
Use Optimal Cleaning Agents
For cold and flu season, healthcare center managers should stock up on disposable disinfecting products and personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks, gowns, and gloves. Take stock of what your medical facility has on hand and order in advance to allow for potential shipping delays.
Cleaning agents such as disinfecting wipes, multi-surface disinfectant sprays, and paper towels are preferred over items like sponges, which can harbor germs. It’s a good idea to order products with labels that note ingredients designed to kill the influenza A virus, like chlorine bleach and hydrogen peroxide.
Enforce Strict Personal Hygiene
Aside from hiring a stellar commercial cleaning and disinfecting company to care for your medical facility, one of the best things you can do this winter is to encourage all staff, patients, and visitors to follow personal hygiene best practices. That means thorough hand washing, following steps for respiratory hygiene, and practicing cough etiquette. Educate people on flu prevention and remind them to use sick days if they run a fever.
Keep soap dispensers and paper towels in the restrooms to eliminate any excuses. If you don’t already have multiple sanitizer stations, add them to your facility layout. Tissues and masks should also be readily available for those who enter your building.
Everyone doing their part to practice proper personal hygiene is one of the best ways to mitigate the spread of germs.
Commercial Cleaning and Disinfecting Services for Your Healthcare Center
Transcend provides healthcare center cleaning and disinfecting services in Chester County, PA and the surrounding area. Call us at (484) 369-6950 or contact us to learn more. We take pride in serving healthcare organizations throughout Chester County, PA with strategic and transformational services that directly provide business outcomes thanks to our Enhance, Guard, and Preserve tactics in commercial cleaning and disinfecting.
We wish you a lifetime of good health and look forward to working together to maximize the value we deliver to you!