A lot has changed since we first learned about COVID-19. Experts know a lot more about this virus, making it safer for some to return to the workplace as many people are getting vaccinated. You might be wondering if you still need to disinfect your office as rigorously as you did last year. ServiceMaster of Baltimore is a commercial cleaning expert that has your health in mind, and we’d like to take a few minutes to help you plan your office cleaning and disinfecting protocol to keep your employees, colleagues, and families safe.
The Difference Between Cleaning and Disinfecting
Cleaning and disinfecting are two separate processes that have different outcomes. Cleaning refers to the removal of all foreign material such as dust, organic debris, or dirt from surfaces by washing, rinsing, wiping, or scrubbing. This is the first step to a true disinfection process, as microorganisms are harder to reach when a surface hasn’t been cleaned.
Disinfection is the use of a product or process that is on the Environmental Protection Agency’s List N that physically deactivates the virus. It’s important to understand that disinfection is not always required and needs to occur after removing surface dirt and grime.
Does COVID Live On Surfaces in the Office?
According to the CDC, transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 is primarily through direct contact with an infected individual or through airborne respiratory droplets. The risk of coming into contact with SARS-CoV-2 from porous and non-porous surfaces is considered low, and the CDC recommends a general cleaning protocol for most indoor spaces if no one is sick with COVID-19. Disinfection is not always required if no one in the building is sick or has had known contact with the virus.
How to Clean and Disinfect the Office
Simply cleaning the area with soap and water or a general household cleaner is all you need to do on a regular basis to remove dirt, grime, and debris from work surfaces. Employees should be encouraged to keep their work area clean and to immediately clean up any visibly soiled areas. Practicing good hand hygiene, staying home if you are sick, and masks for unvaccinated individuals will also contribute to a safe and healthy workplace.
According to the CDC, “In situations when there has been a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 indoors within the last 24 hours, the presence of infectious virus on surfaces is more likely and therefore high-touch surfaces should be disinfected.” High-touch surfaces include doorknobs, office supplies used by the sick individual(s), elevator buttons, and restrooms. Our ServiceMaster of Baltimore team is experienced dealing with indoor spaces and offices affected by exposure to COVID-19.
Commercial Office Cleaning Specialists in Baltimore
Commercial environments such as retail stores, churches, public transit, and offices can count on Servicemaster of Baltimore’s 60-plus years of experience serving our community to fight the spread of contagious diseases like the coronavirus. Our specific cleaning and disinfection protocols have been established to keep you safe. Please call us at 410-780-1700 to learn more about how we can be of service to you.