Cochrane & Associates, LLC

CDC Guidance for Businesses and Institutions for Cleaning and Disinfecting if Someone in the Workplace Gets COVID-19

Source: Cochrane & Associates, LLC

The industrial hygiene professionals at Clark Seif Clark provide infection control consulting, training and testing services, along with third-party project management verification services to assess cleaning and disinfecting protocols.

Chatsworth, CA, July 1st, 2020 -- With many businesses and institutions reopened, and millions of confirmed COVID-19 cases across the globe, there will be numerous cases of employees getting sick on the job. In response, the CDC has released a wealth of information to help plan, prepare and respond to these risks and challenges.

This includes guidance for organizations faced with cleaning and disinfecting a building or facility where someone is sick. CDC recommendations include the following:

·         Close off areas used by the person who is sick.

o   Companies do not necessarily need to close operations, if they can close off affected areas.

·         Open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area.

·         Wait 24 hours before cleaning or disinfecting. If 24 hours is not feasible, wait as long as possible.

·         Clean and disinfect all areas used by the person who is sick, such as offices, bathrooms, common areas, shared electronic equipment like tablets, touch screens, keyboards, remote controls and ATM machines.

·         Vacuum the space if needed. Use a vacuum equipped with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, if available.

o   Do not vacuum a room or space that has people in it. Wait until the room or space is empty to vacuum, such as at night for common spaces, or during the day for private rooms.

o   Consider temporarily turning off room fans and the central HVAC system that services the room or space, so that particles that escape from vacuuming will not circulate throughout the facility.

·         Once the area has been appropriately disinfected, it can be opened for use.

o   Workers without close contact with the person who is sick can return to work immediately after disinfection.

·         If more than 7 days since the person who is sick visited or used the facility, additional cleaning and disinfection is not necessary.

o   Continue routine cleaning and disinfection. This includes everyday practices that businesses and communities normally use to maintain a healthy environment.

“To protect workers and customers, and to help prevent a second wave of infections that could once again close businesses and institutions as has occurred in some parts of the country, plans need to be in place to rapidly respond to any illnesses in the workplace,” said Zahid Iqbal, MPH, CIH and Technical Director at Clark Seif Clark (CSC). “To support these efforts, the infection control and indoor environmental quality experts at CSC work with commercial and institutional customers from across the country to develop contingency plans and provide third party confirmation and testing of cleaning and disinfection protocols. We also offer personal protective equipment education and training, environmental assessments of buildings and comprehensive air quality evaluations.”

CSC has also recently sponsored an educational video about the CDC’s cleaning and disinfecting guidance for a workplace where someone has COVID-19. It can be seen at: https://youtu.be/5YHxFutfvjY

To learn more about this or other building science, infection control, industrial hygiene, indoor air quality, environmental, health and safety services, please visit www.csceng.com, email csc@csceng.com or call (800) 807-1118. 

About Clark Seif Clark

CSC was established in 1989 to help clients in both public and private sectors address indoor air quality, occupational, environmental, and health and safety (EH&S) issues.  CSC is a leading provider of these services with multiple offices along the western seaboard and southwest. The company believes in science-based protocols and has a strong background in engineering, making them the preferred environmental consultants to industrial clients, healthcare facilities, architects, schools, builders, contractors, developers and real estate professionals.