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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Steps To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 in Your Office

10/13/2020 (Permalink)

image of person in full PPE sanitizing table for coronavirus Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive, proactive viral pathogen cleaning program to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

If your New Jersey office is soon or has already returned to in-person operations, there are steps you should be taking to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 between employees. Here, we will review what you should do to keep your office open, safe, and healthy according to CDC guidelines.

Understand The Difference in Cleaning, Sanitizing & Disinfecting

To properly prevent the spread of COVID-19 in your office, you should know the clear difference between these three levels of cleaning:

  • Cleaning removes germs, dirt, dust, and impurities from surfaces or objects.
  • Sanitizing lowers the number of germs on surfaces or objects to a safe level, as judged by public health standards or requirements according to the EPA. A surface must be cleaned before it is sanitized, and sanitizing does not impact viruses.
  • Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces or objects. Like sanitizing, disinfecting is not completely effective without cleaning the surface or object first. 

Maintain Healthy Office Environments

Ensuring a healthy office environment will not only help prevent the spread of COVID-19, but will also make your employees feel safe and secure coming in to work. 

1 | Perform routine cleaning & disinfection of high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, keyboards, sink handles, light switches, desks, countertops, and more,. Create a schedule with your janitorial staff or a disinfecting company to ensure your office is properly disinfected on a continual basis.

2 | Use hospital grade disinfectants that meet the EPA disinfection criteria and are appropriate for the type of surface. Disinfecting of porous vs. non-porous surfaces differs.

3 | Address your office ventilation system. According to the CDC, business owners should do all they can to increase circulation of outdoor air inside. Some businesses have invested in special Hepa filters for their HVAC system to help prevent airborne microbes from circulating in the air. 

4 | Change the layout of the office to be in line with social distancing guidelines. Position cubicles or desks 6 feet apart and install physical barriers where social distancing is not as easy. 

Promote Behaviors To Stop The Spread

On top of properly cleaning and disinfecting your office on a continual basis, you should promote behaviors of your employees that help reduce the spread of COVID-19:

  • Hand hygiene. Require that employees frequently wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. The best way to ensure this would be to create a schedule to wash hands after a certain time period.
  • Mask wearing. Encourage office staff to wear masks as they navigate the office or in communal areas. 
  • Ensure adequate supplies. Position hand sanitizer in high touchpoint areas to encourage using it, or give some to every employee to keep at their desks. Be sure to be stocked with hand soap and disinfectant wipes. 
  • Post signs and messages. If you have requirements for mask wearing, hand washing, or how to navigate through the office, clearly post them. Hang posters that encourage behaviors to stop the spread of COVID-19. 
  • Make it clear when employees should stay home. Encourage employees that are sick or have had close contact with someone with COVID-19 to stay home, and create policies around when employees are able to return. 
  • Promote no-contact operations. If you have an office where clients used to visit, try to shift to no-contact operations with those outside of your office. Promote zoom or conference call meetings with clients, and discourage those who do not work in the office from coming inside.
  • Allow employees to work from home. Although your office may be open, it is best to still limit the amount of people working from it at one time. If employees are uncomfortable returning to the office, allow them to continue working remotely. For larger offices, it is a good idea to create a remote vs. in-office schedule with your employees to limit the amount of people in the office at once. 

Following proper CDC and local guidelines throughout the pandemic is essential to keep offices safe, healthy, and open. 

Learn About Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned For Your Office!

SERVPRO of Morristown is a 24/7 damage restoration company specializing in fire, water, mold and COVID-19 services. Whatever the damages, we can make it "Like it never even happened."

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