Corona Virus / COVID- 19 Response Plan
Part – 1 – Education
Goal is to educate our team leaders / members on the following points:
a) Dispel the mystery / fear surrounding the Coronovirus / Covid- 19:
COVID-19: Caused by one virus, the novel 2019 coronavirus, now called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, or SARS-CoV-2. This is a highly contagious virus that is making its way around the globe. If you are under the age of 50 and in good health the negative effects from this should be no worse than a typical seasonal influenza. With good hygiene practices we can minimize the effects of this on ourselves, our coworkers and any others we may come in contact while at work, at home, or out in the public space.
• The seasonal Flu and COVID-19 have similar symptoms:
• Both cause fever, cough, body aches, fatigue; sometimes vomiting and diarrhea
• Can be mild or severe, even fatal in rare cases
• Can result in pneumonia
How COVID-19 spreads (WHO)
When someone who has COVID-19 coughs or exhales they release droplets of injected fluid. Most of these droplets fall on nearby surfaces and objects – such as desks, tables, or telephones. People could catch COVID-19 by touching contaminated surfaces or objects – and then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. If they are standing within one meter of a person with COVID-19 they can catch it by breathing in droplets coughed out or exhaled by them. In other words, COVID-19 spreads in a similar way to flu. Most persons infected with COVID-19 experience mild symptoms and recover. However, some go on to experience more serious illness and may require hospital care. Risk of serious illness rises with age: people over 40 seem to be more vulnerable than those under 40. People with weakened immune systems and people with conditions such as diabetes, heart and lung disease are also more vulnerable to serious illness.
ACTION: All Tricom team members must be educated on what Corona Virus / COVID-19 is and what we need to do to protect our customer properties and our colleagues from the negative impacts of this virus.
COVID-19 / Corona Virus is a highly contagious. With good hand & respiratory hygiene for our team members and continual disinfection of touch surfaces at our customer properties we can reduce the negative effects caused by this strain of the flu.
B) Understanding Good Hygiene practices:
Require frequent hand-washing, after every event such as a cough or sneeze to ensure there is not transmission of potentially infectious material to surfaces
If somebody sneezes into their hands, that creates an opportunity for those germs to be passed on to other people, or contaminate other objects that people touch. Those same germs can pass from your fingers and palms to doorknobs, desks, and handrails. Flu microbes can remain active on surfaces for hours at a time. Hands must be washed after every sneeze or cough to reduce the rate of any transmission of germs.
Understanding proper hand-washing techniques. (ECOLAB Printable Poster)
The CDC (Center for Disease Control) recommends following the five steps to wash your hands the right way.
Washing your hands is easy, and it’s one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs. Clean hands can stop germs from spreading from one person to another and throughout an entire community – from your home and workplace to childcare facilities and hospitals.
Proper hand washing – Follow these five steps every time.
Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap
Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between fingers and under nails
Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice
Rinse your hands well under clean, running water
Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them
Using hand sanitizer when you can’t use soap and water
Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to get rid of germs in most situations. If soap and water are not readily available, you can use alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. You can tell if the sanitizer contains at least 60% alcohol by looking at the product label.
• Not touching one’s face with hands. Manage eye irritation with the inside of shirt, or sleeve and only touch the face after a thorough hand washing has occured.
Touching one’s face is more difficult than it sounds but by not touching the face you are eliminating one of the main ways a virus can spread through one’s own mouth, nose or eyes. If you must touch your face do this after washing your hands to lower the risk of potential infection
Understanding Hygiene Etiquette and show how to properly cough or sneeze into a tissue, upper sleeve or elbow. (Respiratory Hygiene Etiquette Printable Poster)
Coughing & Sneezing (CDC)
Hygiene etiquette involves practices that prevent the spread of illness and disease. A critical time to practice good hygiene etiquette is when you are sick, especially when coughing or sneezing. Serious respiratory illnesses like influenza, respiratory syncopal virus (RSV), whooping cough, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) are spread by:
• Coughing or sneezing
• Unclean hands (touching your face after touching contaminated objects, touching objects after contaminating your hands)
To help stop the spread of germs:
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
• Put your used tissue in a waste basket
• If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands
Remember to wash your hands after coughing or sneezing:
• Wash with soap and water
• Keep hands clean through improved hand hygiene. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water. If clean, running water is not accessible, as is common in many parts of the world, use soap and available water. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol to clean hands.
ACTION: All Tricom team members must be educated on “GOOD HEALTH HYGIENE PRACTICES” in the workplace. This is the most important step in managing and reducing negative impacts on our colleague’s health
C) Preventing the spread of Coronavirus / COVID-19 at our customer properties:
Tricom must prepare our workplaces and aggressively ensure that all high traffic areas and all touch areas within these areas are being disinfected frequently to prevent the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus. All surfaces, especially those that are horizontal and frequently touched, should be cleaned at least twice daily when soiled.
The disinfection products being used at each property must have Drug Identification Number (DIN) associated to each product that identifies the disinfectants as meeting the regulatory definition of an “antimicrobial agent” in Canada. Disinfection products must be confirmed for each property and, all our team members must be educated on the approved disinfection chemical solutions that are being used at their property
Simple ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in your workplace (WHO)
The low cost measures below will help prevent the spread of infections in your workplace, such as colds, flu and stomach bugs, and protect your customers, contractors and employees.
• Employers should start doing these things now, even if COVID-19 has not arrived in communities where they operate.
• Make sure your workplaces are clean and hygienic
• Surfaces (e.g. desks and tables) and objects (e.g. telephones, keyboards) need to be wiped with disinfectant regularly
Why? Because contamination on surfaces touched by employees and customers is one of the main ways COVID-19 spreads
Promote regular and thorough hand-washing by employees, contractors and customers
• Put sanitizing hand rub dispensers in prominent places around the workplace. Make sure these dispensers are regularly refilled
• Display posters promoting hand-washing – as your local public health authority for these or look on www.WHO.int.
• Combine this with other communication measures such as offering guidance from occupational health and safety officers, briefings at meetings and information on the intranet to promote hand-washing
• Make sure that staff, contractors and customers have access to places where they can wash their hands with soap and water
Why? Because washing kills the virus on your hands and prevents the spread of COVID-19
Promote good respiratory hygiene in the workplace
• Display posters promoting respiratory hygiene. Combine this with other communication measures such as offering guidance from occupational health and safety officers, briefing at meetings and information on the intranet etc.
• Ensure that face masks and/or paper tissues are available at your workplaces, for those who develop a runny nose or cough at work, along with closed bins for hygienically disposing of them. (Masks are not allowed to be worn at Tricom customer properties without customer approval)
Why? Because good respiratory hygiene prevents the spread of COVID-19
ACTION: Post ECOLAB Proper Handwashing Technique poster and Tricom Respiratory Hygiene Etiquette Poster at job sites/Whatsapp chat groups. Ensure all team members understand the importance of proper disinfection techniques and ensure the disinfection products are currently being used. If there is not a proper disinfection product available this will need to be addressed immediately
D) Tricom team members need to know when to not come to work. Any employees who develop symptoms of a cold or flu will be asked not to report to work
• Tricom team members who have travelled or have family members who have travelled from outbreak countries need to self quarantine.
Any Tricom team members that have travelled or been in contact with anyone who has travelled from China, South Korea, Iran or Italy in the past 30 days are restricted from coming to work and must self isolate for 14 days from the date of identification
Prior to an outbreak in the local community site supervisors must keep track of employee illness (employee illness log):
All supervisors must be aware of employees who are at higher risk of infection. Typically, these will be older personnel over the age of 40, or employees who have compromised lung capacity due to smoking activity. Supervisors will need to keep an employee illness log of Tricom team members who have called in sick or who appear to be suffering from mild symptoms while at work. Employees who have mild symptoms will be asked to go home and not return for a few days to see if their condition improves. Any employees who call in sick or leave work due to illness need to only report back for duty when cleared by a health care professional and return with a physician’s note confirming they are cleared to do so. Any employee returning to work without a doctor’s note will not be allowed to come back to work and will be sent home. The employee illness log needs to kept onsite and up to date in case it needs to be reviewed by local health authorities or our customers.
When and if there is an outbreak confirmed in the local community:
Once it has been determined that there is the likelihood of a confirmed outbreak in one of our Tricom communities then local managers will have to enforce a strict policy that restricts any employees who may have mild symptoms of a cold or flu from the workplace to stay home and self quarantine as to not potentially infect others. Site managers will have the authority to send anyone home that is showing any signs of an infection
Information on staying away from the workplace (WHO)
• Brief employees, contractors and customers that if COVID-19 starts spreading in your community anyone with even a mild cough or low-grade fever (37.3 C or more) needs to stay at home. They should also stay home if they have had to take simple medications such as paracetamol/acetaminophen, ibuprofen or aspirin, which may mask symptoms of infection.
• Keep communicating and promoting the message that people need to stay at home even if they have just mild symptoms of COVID-19
• Display posters with this message in your workplaces. Combine this with other communication channels commonly used in your organization or business
• Your occupational health services, loyal public health authority or other partners may have developed campaign materials to promote this message
ACTION: All Tricom team members must be educated on when not to come to work and the requirements that will be necessary for a return to work such as obtaining clearance from a health care professional and the requirement of a doctors note to ensure clearance. Tricom supervision will need to manage the employee illness log and ensure its being managed correctly and policies are being followed correctly. If an outbreak occurs, then it will be very important to ensure anyone who is not feeling well to stay home and self isolate
Tricom Building Maintenance – Corona Virus/ Covid-19 Response Plan
Part – 2 – Disinfection & Sanitizing Information
Due to the Coronavirus / COVID-19 outbreak and the need to combat the spread of the virus, there must be a high level of attention given to the cleaning & disinfection of all surfaces in our customer properties. The Goal of this document is to ensure all our Tricom Leaders are educated on the important distinctions between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfection. Often sanitizers and disinfectants are referred to interchangeably which is understandable, and this document will clarify the differences of each. As well give the reader practical knowledge of when to use either a product to disinfect or sanitize depending of the surface type and use within our customer properties.
Part – 3 will focus on the process and execution at our customer properties
CLEANING / SANITIZING / DISINFECTION
Cleaning is the removal of foreign material (e.g., soil, and organic material) from objects and is normally accomplished using water with detergents or enzymatic products. Thorough cleaning is required before disinfection and sterilization because inorganic and organic materials that remain on surfaces interfere with the effectiveness of these processes.
• Cleaning is the first step of a sanitizing / disinfection process
• Effective cleaning must occur before sanitizing or disinfection product is used, as the products may not work as well if the surface has not had all visible contamination removed
• Cleaning is often achieved with detergent, water and agitation, with the visible dirt and detergent then rinsed and removed with clean water
• Soap & detergents are substances that remove dirt and grease; however, they do not kill bacteria and other microorganisms
• Microorganisms may be removed during the cleaning process; however, cleaning is not intended to destroy microorganisms, sanitizing/disinfection is required for this purpose
• Approved sanitizers in Canada have a Drug Identification Number (DIN): assures the user that any claims made on the label are accurate
Routine cleaning with detergent and warm water is the most useful method for removing germs from many surfaces in our customer properties. This method also removes dirt and grease from surfaces. Good mechanical cleaning, i.e. the friction created through a vigorous cleaning motion, physically reduces the numbers of germs from the surface (just as hand washing reduces the numbers of germs from the hands) but does not kill those germs that may remain on the surface.
Cleaning is an important first step in removing germs from the environment. If surfaces are not “clean”, accumulated dirt and organic matter can protect germs and may cause further sanitizing or disinfection processes to be ineffective.
Germs also cannot multiply on clean, dry surfaces. There are a number of items and surfaces on the properties we service that should receive an additional step, either sanitizing or disinfection, after cleaning.
Cleaning then sanitizing, or disinfecting, are usually 2 separate processes.
Sanitizing is the process of chemical or mechanical cleansing, applicable in public health systems. Usually used by the food industry. It reduces microbes on eating utensils, and food safe surfaces to safe, acceptable levels for public health.
Sanitizing uses a chemical that kills or inactivates certain germs so that their numbers are reduced to such a level that the spread of disease-causing bacteria is unlikely. Typically, sanitizers are used to clean equipment and food contact surfaces in kitchen & dining areas. They also are used to clean equipment, toys, and other surfaces that can be found in childcare settings or where young children play.
• Sanitizing is designed to reduce the number of microorganisms to a safe level
• Sanitizing is performed after cleaning
• Unclean surfaces will reduce the effectiveness of sanitizing
• All surfaces that come into contact with food must be cleaned and sanitized regularly
• Cleaning and sanitizing help to prevent pest infestations
• Cleaning and sanitizing help your business stay compliant with food safety laws and regulations
• Cleaning and sanitizing help to protect customers and employees from health risks like food poisoning and allergic reactions
Types of sanitizers
Commercial sanitizers are available from a range of commercial chemical suppliers and retailers. There are both Food Contact Sanitizers and Non-food Contact Sanitizers available. The most commonly used sanitizers used in food businesses contain chlorine or quaternary ammonium compounds (QUATS) as active ingredients. These must be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. It is also important to check that the sanitizer you use is food grade/food contact surfaces compliant, along with any other information on its effectiveness in sanitizing and ensuring it does not inadvertently contaminate food.
Bleach as a sanitizer
Bleach is an inexpensive chemical that can be used to sanitize. Only plain, unscented bleach should be used and generally range from 4% to 10% chlorine (the active ingredient) as indicated on the label. Diluted bleach solutions should be made up every 24 hours as the chemical breaks down and becomes ineffective after this time. Contact time may vary between brands, but 10 minutes is typical. Utensils, equipment and surfaces can be left to air dry (no rinsing required) unless stronger concentrations than recommended are used.
Other alternative solutions for sanitizing
Other alternatives such as vinegar, lemon juice and methylated spirits should not be used as sanitizers. Vinegar and lemon juice are weak acids and not effective at sanitizing. Methylated spirits (Methyl Alcohol) can leave chemical residues on surfaces which may taint food rendering it unsuitable. Citrus based cleaners are not proven to have a sanitizing effect and should only be used as cleaning agents. An approved commercial sanitizer or a solution made from bleach as described below are the only products that should be used as sanitizers in our properties.
How to make a 200 ppm no-rinse sanitizing solution:
• Cold water should be used for dilution as hot water decomposes the active ingredient of bleach and renders it ineffective
• 200 ppm bleach sanitizer will not corrode metal
• Mix 15 mL (1 tablespoon) of household bleach into 4 litres (1 gallon) of water; or mix 5 mL (1 teaspoon) of household bleach into 1 litre (4 cups) of water
• Allow the sanitizer to contact the surface or utensil for at least 1 minute before wiping off with a clean paper towel or allowing it to air dry
Use B.C’s FOOD SAFE Chlorine Dilution Calculator tool to make up the proper sanitizer strength based on the concentration of your bleach product www.foodsafe.ca/dilution-calculator.html
Caution: Mixing bleach with products that contain acid or ammonia makes a toxic gas that causes serious breathing problems, choking and potentially death
Disinfection is the process of elimination of most pathogenic microorganism’s (excluding bacterial spores) on inanimate objects or surfaces that can cause disease. Disinfection can be achieved by physical or chemical methods. Chemicals used in disinfection are called disinfectants.
To combat the Coronavirus/COVID-19 an approved disinfectant that is effective must be used to wipe down all surfaces that could potentially re-transmit germs that have been left behind from an infected person to others.
• Disinfectants kill more germs than sanitizers
• Disinfectants are used to kill microorganisms on inanimate objects or surfaces
• Approved disinfectants in Canada have a Drug Identification Number (DIN): assures the user that any claims made on the label are accurate
• Most disinfectants are potentially harmful (even toxic) to humans or animals
• Disinfectants are not for use on skin. Proper PPE (Disposable Glove Minimum Requirement)
• Requirement for cleaning of surfaces prior to disinfection
Types of disinfectants
Commercial disinfectant cleaners are available as a broad-spectrum disinfectant (kill many different types of microorganism’s), or as specific virucides, bactericidal, fungicidal and germicide targeted products
Commercial disinfectants are designed with the following in mind:
Does a disinfectant kill the microbes and pathogens that are of top concern in your facility?
Pathogens can have multiple strains, and disinfectants are certified for specific strains. Depending on your industry and facility type – healthcare, education, long-term care, hospitality – you will have varying needs and requirements. Please ensure the disinfectant being used will eliminate the microorganisms that are affecting the property being serviced.
How quickly does a disinfectant product kill a specific pathogen? Does the product keep surfaces visibly wet in order to comply with these kill times?
Again, disinfectant formulas are reregistered to kill specific pathogens in a specific amount of time, and they need to be wet on a surface the entire time to be actively working. Thirty seconds to five minutes might be a typical kill time. If a disinfectant needs 10 minutes though, be sure it will actually stay wet that long. Alcohol based disinfectants may very well evaporate before their required contact time. Read and follow all directions for use and resetting if necessary.
Is the product safe to use for people and safe for the surfaces it is being applied to?
Some categories of disinfectants are toxic, some stain, others are corrosive, yet others have an undesirable door. Check toxicity and flammability ratings on products, as well as any personal protective equipment (PPE) recommendations for disinfectants you apply. Be sure a disinfectant will not damage any surface it is intended for.
Ease of use
Are the steps required to use a given disinfectant practical for your facility?
Some applications require multiple steps that may not always be feasible. Water hardness is one factor that can impact the effectiveness of some disinfectant formulas. Some products will clean and disinfect in just one step, while others need to have a pre-cleaning step prior to application of a disinfectant.
Bleach as a disinfectant
As with sanitizing, Bleach is a strong and effective disinfectant. Its active ingredient, sodium hypochlorite, denatures protein in microorganisms and is therefore effective in killing bacteria, fungus and viruses. A solution of bleach that is 1000 ppm is an effective disinfectant.
• Avoid using bleach on metals, wool, nylon, silk, dyed fabric and painted surfaces.
• Avoid touching the eyes. If bleach gets into the eyes, immediately rinse with water for at least 15 minutes and consult a doctor
• Bleach should not be used together or mixed with other household detergents as this reduces its effectiveness in disinfection and causes chemical reactions. For instance, a toxic gas is produced when bleach is mixed with acidic detergents such as those used for toilet cleaning. This could result in accidents and injuries. If necessary, use detergents first and rinse thoroughly with water before using bleach for disinfection.
How to make a 1000 ppm disinfecting solution:
• Cold water should be used for dilution as hot water decomposes the active ingredient of bleach and renders it ineffective
• Mix 82.5 mL (5.5) tablespoons of household bleach into 4 litres (1 gallon) of water; or mix 20 mL (1.5 tablespoons) of household bleach into 1 litre (4 cups) of water.
• Allow the disinfectant to contact the surface or utensil for at least 10 minutes before wiping off with a clean paper towel or allowing it to air dry.
Caution: Mixing bleach with products that contain acid or ammonia makes a toxic gas that causes serious breathing problems, choking and potentially death.
Sanitizing/ Disinfecting Procedure
Whether Sanitizing surfaces in food preparation & food contact areas or disinfecting other surfaces in our customers properties. Both processes share the same procedures that must be followed. Some steps will be reduced or redundant depending on the products being used to perform these duties.
It is very important that the manufacturer’s instructions are followed and appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are worn when using a sanitizer or disinfectant to avoid inappropriate exposures to the chemical, to ensure that the sanitization process is effective, and to protect the integrity of the surfaces being sanitized.
Surfaces requiring sanitizing/disinfecting must be thoroughly cleaned first before applying the sanitizer or disinfectant as the chemicals are inactivated by the presence of organic material. Cleaning requires brushing/scraping to remove loose dirt and debris, followed by cleaning with detergent and warm/hot water to remove remaining dirt and grease.
Scrubbing will assist in the cleaning process. Surfaces should be rinsed with water after cleaning and allowed to air-dry or dried with clean cloths.
After cleaning, apply the sanitizer/disinfectant according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Generally, the surface should be liberally soaked/covered with disinfectant/sanitizer and then left in contact with the product for a certain period of time, out of the disinfection products require a 10-minute contact time or Dwell time. Please refer to product instructions
After the contact time has passed, the solution can be removed using clean absorbent materials (cloths, paper towels) or rinsed off (refer to manufacturer’s instructions) and allowed to dry (air dry or manually dried). If a bleach solution is used, rinsing is not necessary as the chlorine in the solution evaporates as the surface dries.
These steps are summarized in Table 1 below:
After a review of Part – 2, It should now be clear what the difference between the terms sanitizing and disinfecting, and when you would use each procedure to manage the disinfection needs at our customer properties. Cleaning will always be the first step to remove all organic and inorganic material prior to either sanitizing or disinfecting when called for.
Sanitize is to make sanitary, as by cleaning or disinfecting. Sanitizers are used to reduce, but not necessarily eliminate, microorganisms from the inanimate environment to levels considered safe as determined by public health codes or regulations. Sanitizers include food contact and non-food contact products. Sanitizing rinses for surfaces such as dishes and cooking utensils, as well as equipment and utensils found in dairies, food-processing plants and eating and drinking establishments compromise the food contact sanitizers. These products are important because they are used on sites where consumable food products are placed and stored. Sanitizers reduce, but do not necessarily eliminate, the number of microorganisms on surfaces they come into contact with. A sanitizer is less effective in removing germs than a disinfectant.
Disinfect is to cleanse so as to destroy or prevent the growth of disease carrying microorganisms. Therefore, a disinfectant is an agent, such as heat, irradiation or chemical that disinfects by destroying, neutralizing or inhibiting the growth of disease-carrying microorganisms. EPA further defines disinfectants as products that are used on hard inanimate surfaces and objects to destroy or irreversibly inactivate fungi and bacteria but not necessarily their spores. Disinfectant products are divided into two major types hospital and general use. Hospital type disinfectant are the most critical to infection control and are used on medical instruments, floors, walls, bed linens and other surfaces. General disinfectants are the major source of products used in households, swimming pools and water purifiers. A disinfectant is typically used on non-food contact surfaces to kill infectious organisms.
Part – 3 – Managing Disinfection at Customer Properties
With the Coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak making its way around the world, the importance of effective disinfection of our customer properties is our top priority. Property leadership must be able to break down each property and prioritize surfaces that will need disinfection and the frequencies that will be needed /expected from the property management. This document will help guide this process.
A) What is the Coronavirus/COVID-19 virus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.
People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID- 19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth.
It is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces, but it seems to behave like other coronaviruses. Studies suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This may vary under different conditions (e.g. type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment).
COVID-19 is an Enveloped Virus. enveloped viruses are the most susceptible to environmental disinfectants. The structure of these viruses includes a lipid envelope, which is easily compromised by most disinfectants. Once the lipid envelope is dissolved the core is exposed and vulnerable. Examples include the bloodborne pathogens, such as HIV, hepatitis B virus (HBV), and hepatitis C virus (HCV), and Human influenza A (H1N1).
B) Disinfection product specifications for COVID-19
An approved disinfection product with a Drug Information Number (DIN) issued by Health Canada should be used to manage disinfection of surfaces and to eliminate potentially COVID-19 disease- causing germs and bacteria. It’s important that the disinfectant product being selected should be of a Hospital grade and have a claim on the product label that it will manage Human influenza A (H1N1) which is similar to COVID-19 virus.
It is noted that most disinfection products will work for eliminating the COVID-19 virus as enveloped viruses are fairly easy to manage, but for ensuring that we maintain our customers confidence a certified product needs to be used.
All employees need to be aware of what disinfection products have been selected for use at their property and will need to be properly trained on the products use. Pre-cleaning of surfaces and the effective dwell time of the disinfectant product must be reviewed with team members.
C) Personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements for COVID-19 disinfection
Tricom personnel are to always wear disposal gloves when working with manual disinfection products such as disinfectant wipes, products discharged from a trigger sprayer, or when using pre- charged cloths. This is the minimum PPE requirement. Eye protection, and disposable respirator are optional when available and when customers permit the wearing of masks.
Tricom operators must wear, disposable gloves, eye protection, protective clothing (that covers all exposed skin), & respirator when working with mechanical disinfection applicators such as pump or electric sprayers and foggers.
Clean hands immediately with soap and water after gloves are removed.
D) Identifying, prioritizing and managing disinfection of surfaces at customer properties
Using the scope of work for each location Tricom leaders need to identify and prioritise the level of disinfection needed for all of the surfaces within the property that we are responsible for. All high / heavy traffic areas and the touch points within those areas would be of a high priority and the frequency of disinfection in these areas will need to be greater than those in areas that are identified as lower priority.
High priority surfaces will be any that are touched by hands such as doorknobs, elevator buttons, light switches, toilet handles, counters, tables, hard-backed chairs, handrails, touch screen surfaces and keypads. Fitness center weights & equipment, lunchroom furniture, vending machines, office areas with desks, chairs, keyboards, phones, and file cabinets will all have a lot of High Priority surfaces that need thorough disinfection. There are too many to list.
A manager/supervisor will have to go into each area serviced on a property and create a list of the high priority surfaces that will need a disinfection nightly and then determine what the other surfaces in each area will need. There may need to be checklists created of the high touch surfaces for each area to ensure that a Tricom team member is executing the cleaning of theses items at the frequency expected and then signs off on the work as being completed. These lists will be very important to keep on hand internally in case we ever are questioned on the cleaning being performed or need to share with our customers.
If the property being serviced has public access around the clock, then many of the areas within the property that have high priority touch surfaces will need to be disinfected multiple times in a shift to reduce possible spread of any infectious germs. Due to the need for frequent cleaning of surfaces in these style of properties, Tricom will either need to add more personnel to manage this extra service or there will need to be areas (determined with the customer) that services can be reduced temporarily to draw the needed manpower from.
Properties that are closed to the public after hours still have the same high requirements for the disinfection but are much easier to manage as you do not have to manage the extra requirement of greater frequency for the high traffic touch surfaces.
E) Disinfection of surfaces in customer properties
• It must be understood that proper disinfection must take place on clean surfaces.
• Any food safe surface must be managed with a food safe disinfectant or sanitizer.
• Ensure that the disinfectant is suitable for the surface being sanitized.
• Understand the contact time required for disinfection.
• Does the disinfectant being used require a final rinse.
There are multiple ways to manually apply a disinfectant and some are more efficient than others.
Using the disinfectant from a labelled spray bottle and spraying the surfaces, allowing for the dwell time, and then wiping the surface off with microfibre cloths is the most labor-intensive way to mange surface disinfection. The reason for this is because not only do you need to spray the surfaces and then wipe with the microfibre cloths, there is a laundering component that needs to be adhered to when working with microfibre or any linens that have potentially come in contact with infectious disease causing viruses. Used microfibre cloths must be kept in a sealed container or garbage bag until processing of laundering.
Using the disinfectant from a labelled spray bottle with a combination of disposable paper towel is a good method for disinfection as long as the dwell time requirement is met. Following the same procedure as above, you will spray the surfaces and allow the product to dwell. You will then go back and wipe with paper towel and when finished dispose of the paper towel in an approved refuse container. The laundering component is removed but the wiping of surfaces with paper towel is less effective than when using with microfibre cloths. This method is the most practical for sites that do not have access to laundering services. But remember If you wet a surface down via spray bottle and immediately wipe the surface dry, it won’t be effective. No disinfectant kills on contact!
An effective way to disinfect is to use a charging bucket that has the disinfectant in it. Folded microfibre cloths are in the bucket soaking / charging in the solution. When entering an area, a new cloth is pulled out of the solution and is wrung out so that the microfibre cloth is damp but not dripping wet. Keeping the cloth folded it can then be used to manage 8 or more surfaces with minimal chance of cross contamination. After each surface is disinfected the cloth is either flipped over or opened to one of the 8 sides. When all 8 sides are used the cloth is then put in a sealed bag or container to be laundered. If the disinfectant being used requires a rinse (most do not) then another pass with a damp microfiber cloth that has been in water will need to be used. Out of necessity this process can be used without a charging bucket. Cloths can be soaking in a master container located in custodial closet or space. Disinfectant soaked cloths are wrung out and then are refolded and put in a small or medium bag which is folded or loosely tied closed. This way the cloths will still stay damp with the disinfectant in the bag and the user can then follow the same procedures as above.
Using a small pump sprayer or using a flat mop is an effective way to manage larger areas that need disinfection. As an example, walls in high traffic areas, can be sprayed with a pump sprayer and or wiped with a flat mop to manage large coverage areas and reduce the time that it would take to wipe these surfaces manually
Onsite leaders need to take the time to create a good disinfection program / routine for their property. This could include checklists of high priority surfaces to ensure compliance. All employees need to be properly trained on what, where and why with respect to the COVID-19 virus, disinfection of surfaces, and why this is so important. Our goal is to slow the spread of potential virus and keep our colleagues and customers safe.
Remember – Tell, Show, Do, Review.
Tell – Tell your learners what they are going to learn! (This covers the Auditory Learners.)
Show – Don’t just tell them, SHOW THEM. (This covers the Visual Learners.)
Do – Let the learner practice their newfound skills. (This gets your Kinesthetic learners in on the action.)
Review – Recap and Review what has been taught. (Reinforces the task overall.)