As businesses and public areas throughout the country start to reopen for visitors, maintaining safe spaces is more important than ever. Coronavirus disinfection is a top priority for families and individuals for working, shopping, banking, and running other personal errands. For the people responsible for keeping public spaces safe and healthy, there are some important considerations to bear in mind.
1. Know Your Technical Terms
When it comes to coronavirus disinfection, the words you use make a difference. It’s not just a matter of semantics when discussing cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting. These three terms have different meanings and often require different products or techniques to achieve the intended result.
Cleaning refers to the removal of gross debris and soils, sanitizing reduces the presence of the virus on surfaces, and disinfecting kills the virus. In terms of coronavirus, the most common approach is a combination of cleaning and disinfecting, specifically in that order. Cleaning is an important first step because the presence of soils on a surface can impact the efficacy of some disinfectant chemicals.
2. Focus on the Right Spaces
Focusing primarily on the areas that truly require disinfection will help reduce the amount of products you use, save time and labor, and ensure that those areas get the necessary attention. The most important surfaces and objects to clean and disinfect are those that are frequently touched by multiple people. This will vary depending on the specific space, but often includes door handles, light switches, shared equipment, and bathroom facilities. Areas that are not frequently touched don’t need to be regularly disinfected, but should be cleaned following the typical maintenance schedule.
The same is true for outdoor public spaces—only disinfect the surfaces that are frequently touched. If an area, either indoors or outdoors, has been unoccupied for more than seven days, there is no need to disinfect surfaces and objects before using the space.
3. Use the Right Products
The efficacy of disinfectants is measured using log kills—a higher log kill means the product is more effective at killing pathogens. Look for a product that delivers a minimum 6-log reduction to ensure the highest possible efficacy against viruses and other pathogens.
Some disinfectant products are also toxic to humans and animals or may be corrosive to materials. Look for products that are safe to use with little or no PPE and not damaging to the surfaces where they will be applied.
4. Think about Application Options
Understanding how a product should be applied is critical for ensuring that it is effective. Some products must be properly diluted, which might require training for the people who will be applying them. Similarly, some disinfectants must stay on surfaces for a minimum contact time to ensure that pathogens are effectively killed.
The potential application methods are also important because various areas might require different types of treatment. For example, disinfecting a flat countertop can be effectively done with a spray, but disinfecting all of the nooks and crannies in a facility would be better achieved with a detail spray from a HVLP sprayer.
5. Keep Your Knowledge Current
Because we are still learning about the virus and how it spreads, the recommendations around maintaining safe spaces continue to evolve. Keep an eye on CDC guidelines for reopening to ensure that you are following the latest guidance. State and local officials might also have more specific requirements or recommendations depending on the status of the outbreak, so check the relevant resources in your area to ensure that you are in compliance.
Consider D7 for Coronavirus Disinfection
D7 is on the EPA’s list of approved disinfectants against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) when following the directions for norovirus. Although this list has hundreds of options, it’s important to understand that they are not all equal. D7, which can be applied as a foam, liquid, spray, or fog, achieves a minimum of 99.9999 percent (6-log-kill). The formulation contains mild, non-toxic ingredients, including detergents that penetrate the lipid envelope of viruses.
For more tips on coronavirus disinfection and how to keep your spaces safer for employees and visitors, download A Decon7 Guide to Coronavirus Disinfection in Commercial, Industrial, and Public Facilities.