by Ron Peik
Winter is a prime time for illness and this winter has been like no other with the second wave of COVID-19. While COVID-19 primarily spreads via extended (close contact of 10 minutes or more) person-to-person contact, some exposure is caused by touching a contaminated surface and then touching your face. This is why surface disinfection is helpful for reducing the risk to occupants.
While cleaning is the removal of visible contaminants such as dust and dirt, disinfecting is the elimination of both bacteria and viruses. When disinfecting for the COVID virus, the agent used for disinfecting must be EPA-approved specifically for COVID. Another important element is the amount of time the disinfectant must be in contact with the surface in order to kill off the virus. Since this dwell time ranges up to 10 minutes for some disinfectants, the cleaning technique is vitally important.
The primary surfaces to focus on are “high-touch” surfaces such as countertops, doorknobs, and bathroom fixtures. Cleaning to maintain a safe workspace or living area can be done by home or business owners or by third party professionals. But in situations where there is a known COVID case, this work is best handled by a trained environmental remediation specialist wearing proper personal protective equipment (PPE) such as protective suits, HEPA filtered respirators and gloves.
For additional information, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/clean-disinfect/index.html.
Ron Peik is president of Alpine Environmental.