With so much information available, it can be hard to comprehend exactly what you need to do and how you should do it. That’s why we have pulled together the guidance provided from the world’s leading health authorities and supplied you a battle plan to help ensure your school is thoroughly cleaned. There is a lot of misunderstanding around cleaning and disinfecting so it's important to understand, that although there is no test data specifically against COVID-19 available currently, Coronaviruses are enveloped viruses meaning they are sensitive to a wide range of disinfectants.
Before we move through the following four steps there are two fundamental principles that need to be understood. The first is that cleaning is essential before disinfecting, there is equipment available that can reduce this process time down, but 99% of the educational establishments wouldn't have access to this equipment. The second is that contact time for disinfectants is crucial and surfaces must be wet for the whole of the contact time.
We have highlighted the following four key points you need to be aware of as you start deep cleaning and disinfecting your facility.
1) Review your cleaning chemicals
If the cleaning products being used aren’t adequate they won’t be disinfecting. The Coronavirus is not currently available for commercial laboratories to test against. However, given the test data supplied by manufacturers, we can reasonably assume certain cleaning chemicals to have efficacy against the virus. We recommend disinfectants should have been assessed for virucidal activity for the following test methods such as BS EN 14476 and BS EN 14675.
If you are unsure whether your disinfectants are certified to these standards, we can help you find out.
2) Ensure cleaning chemicals are being used and applied correctly
Once you are certain you have the right cleaning products, it is important to ensure operatives are using them correctly, otherwise, the disinfecting regimes won’t be effective. We can provide task cards with many of our products for your cleaning operatives to ensure they have clear guidance on how to use disinfectants effectively. As mentioned previously, contact times are crucial in the disinfection process.
3) Audit your cleaning regimes and times
When deep cleaning and disinfecting it’s important that your cleaning regime changes to accommodate the additional cleaning requirements. Often cleaning and disinfecting are looked on as the same process, but disinfecting often is far more effective when surfaces have already been cleaned. Also ensure your cleaning teams have enough time to thoroughly clean and disinfect, this is not just a quick spray and wipe process.
4) Review your PPE
PPE is essential when deep cleaning, provide your team with what they need to stay safe. This information will be accessible on the safety data sheet and should you be disinfecting after an outbreak has occurred follow the advice from Public Health England, for more information click here
We hope this article has helped clear up the process for you and your cleaning teams. If you have any questions at all don't hesitate to make contact with us, we are here to help you through these challenging times.
This information is subject to change as advice is provided by health authorities and the advice provided is more around deep cleaning and disinfecting in schools prior to an outbreak occurring. Should you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to make contact.