How Clean is COVID Clean?

How clean is COVID-clean? Combat cross-contamination to secure your space.

Right now, the biggest risk to the customers and workforce who use your space is cross-contamination.

It only takes one person infected with the virus to come into your premises and be in close contact with objects, surfaces or other people for transmission to happen.

The consequences could include a temporary closure of your business and all the loses that entails, so you must do everything you can to avoid them.

Face masks and social distancing are vital control measures to mitigate the airborne spread of the virus. However, only a thorough cleaning regime can help you control potential fomite transmission too.

Since March, we’ve been advising clients on how to ensure their premises are as COVID-secure as possible, which involves a combination of measures to ensure they have every base covered.

Like you, we want both customers and employees to feel confident in venturing out to visit the places they socialise and work. So, establishing an enhanced cleaning regime is vital.

What does a COVID-secure cleaning regime look like?

It goes without saying that all your employees should be fully briefed on the personal hygiene standards expected of them now. For your cleaning team, you need to go much further.

Start by having a meeting with your cleaning contractor to discuss everything you require from them and to get their agreement to use enhanced methods to tackle cross-contamination.

Your new cleaning regime should involve the cleaning team doing a preliminary deep clean of each area and then a second round of disinfection throughout. Only through a two-level approach like this can you achieve a COVID-secure clean.

Make sure the products used conform to the standards set by Public Health England and that all cleaning staff have received the training required for the cleaning methods they should use.

They will likely be working in spaces with different requirements. That’s why we advise having a colour code for each area to avoid cross-contamination during the cleaning process itself.

For example:

  • Yellow for higher risk areas
  • Green for food preparation and bar use
  • Red for toilets and washrooms
  • Blue for general areas

The beauty of a colour-coded system like this is that these primary colours are widely used by cleaning equipment manufacturers, which makes it easy to implement and for staff to remember.

Strategies should include extra cleaning of high-frequency contact areas, and extra sanitising for high-risk areas too.

Getting your paperwork right is also critical. Make sure you have a detailed COVID Secure Plan and Risk Assessment.

We’ve been meticulous when preparing paperwork for clients who’ve asked us to handle this for them, and Local Authority Environmental Health Officers have commended our work as exceptional.

This is not just about getting a pat on the back, it’s proof to visitors that your business or venue is competent and proactive about COVID security. In these challenging times, that’s an excellent position to be in.

Taking it to the next level: do you need to use hygienic air cleaning as part of your processes? 

There are plenty of clients who need to go further in their efforts to provide COVID-safe environments. For them, we suggest hygienic air cleaning, aka fogging.

This cleaning method allows you to reach all parts of your venue at a micro-level, so even areas that are difficult to access or time-consuming to clean can be reached.

If you are running a photo-shoot or something similar, for example, this is an excellent solution. A team can come in to build the set and any equipment first. Then, before the artist or models arrive, the area can be sanitised using hygienic air cleaning to achieve the desired level of safety.

Another advantage of fogging is that you can establish secure groups of people moving in and out of your space.

By staggering arrival times, having separate welfare areas and staff bubbles denoted by colour-coded lanyards, you can mitigate cross-contamination between the groups by fogging between use.

The beauty of this proactive approach is that if one person needs to self-isolate due to potential COVID exposure, you can simply remove their working group from the project. The procedures you have in place will contain the possible transmission and enable you to continue without having to halt work.

Once again, document all of this in your COVID Secure Plan and Risk Assessment. If a suspected or confirmed case happens, you’ll be required to prove it’s safe to keep your venue open.

If you can’t demonstrate that the likelihood of infection between groups is minimal and that you have a robust cleaning regime in place, you may be shut down.

We’ve all seen the catastrophic financial impact this can wreak on businesses in 2020, so do whatever you can to prevent that happening to your venue.

Please remember that our team are here to help, and we’ve got a lot of experience in putting COVID-Secure Plans in place and conducting thorough risk assessments.