As millions of people are receiving COVID-19 vaccinations and coronavirus infections rates continue decreasing, many companies are allowing employees to return to in-office work. Office managers should never allow employees to return to work without first having offices and office buildings thoroughly disinfected.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provides a concise guide about disinfecting offices before employees return after lockdown is lifted. Important points employers should know about these guidelines include:
The EPA lists the following chemicals as 99.9 percent effective against deactivating the coronavirus on porous and nonporous surfaces:
When disinfecting drapes, curtains, carpet, rugs, and furniture fabric:
If you can’t wash a specific item in a washer and dryer (curtains and rugs, for example), consider throwing it away and purchasing new curtains or rugs for your office.
Desks, leather chairs, bathroom surfaces, and walls should be sprayed with an appropriate disinfectant. Surfaces should be allowed to remain wet for 15 minutes. Wipe off nonporous surfaces with clean rags and dispose of the rags after use. A plastic garbage bag is recommended for storing used cleaning rags until they are thrown away.
When disinfecting keyboards, tablets, laptops, and other electronic devices:
Providing easy access to tools and products meant to combat COVID-19 transmission is the best practice office managers can do to protect employees from COVID-19. Suggestions include:
Another best practice to reduce COVID-19 infection is to constantly disinfect Outdoor areas where employees take breaks and eat lunch. While COVID-19 may not be as transmissible outdoors, the virus can still adhere to surfaces for up to several days. Outdoor break areas with tables, chairs, and benches should be cleaned several times a day if employees consistently use them.
An office manager’s worst-case scenario: an employee returns, works in the office for several weeks, and then becomes ill with COVID-19. What happens next? Since it is likely, the employee won’t know how they contracted coronavirus. The manager will have to close the office (or entire building), open the windows, and prevent anyone from entering the office for at least 24 hours.
Everything the employee may have touched will have to be disinfected–chairs, desks, door handles, bathroom faucets, and office equipment belonging to other employees. The manager will also need to contact employees about possible exposure to COVID-19 so they can quarantine. If this happens, infectious disease experts strongly urge managers consider hiring a cleaning business experienced with the COVID-19 disinfection process. Unless the office is sufficiently cleaned, the risk of other employees contracting COVID-19 when they return to work is statistically significant.
If it seems like a lot of work preparing an office to reopen after lockdown–that’s because it is a lot of work. It’s also essential for ensuring employees’ health and safety who are no doubt excited to be returning to the workplace. Office managers trying to streamline the transition from remote work back to in-office work may feel overwhelmed and confused about disinfecting for COVID-19. Just one employee testing positive for coronavirus can shut down the whole transition process and send employees back to working remotely.
Instead of assigning several employees to disinfect office equipment and spaces, managers hire professional cleaning businesses like Levdok Services, specializing in disinfecting for COVID-19. Levdok technicians are not only knowledgeable about COVID-19 but highly trained in disinfecting offices, office buildings and retail stores. We already have the EPA-approved cleaning products, PPE, and state-of-the-art cleaning tools to begin work right away. Levdok Services also offers a free cleaning quote for all Anne Arundel, Howard, and Baltimore County businesses. If your office has been on lockdown but plans to return to onsite work, give us a call today to learn more about our comprehensive COVID-19 cleaning services.