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Coronavirus 101: What is it? How did it start? What do we do next?

Thursday, March 26th, 2020 by Dan Pyne


Coronavirus 101: What is it? How did it start? What do we do next? - Image 1

WHAT IS THE CORONAVIRUS?
Coronavirus 2019-nCoV, more commonly referred to in the media as the Coronavirus or COVID-19, is a respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, China suspected to have originated in a large animal and seafood market. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some of which affect humans while others affect animals only. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) is a different type of Coronavirus but is NOT the same as what is now being generally labeled “the Coronavirus”.

HOW DOES CORONAVIRUS SPREAD?
While we are still learning more about the new Coronavirus COVID-19, scientists believe the virus will act similar to other more well-known Coronaviruses such as MERS or SARS. It is believed that the Coronavirus spreads from person-to-person when in close proximity to each other. The standard accepted distance is about 6 feet. The virus is spread much like the flu by an infected person coughing or sneezing. This introduces tiny respiratory droplets that can enter a non-infected person’s mouth, nose or be inhaled into the lungs. As with other respiratory viruses, individuals are typically considered to be most contagious when they are demonstrating the greatest level of symptoms.

Coronavirus 101: What is it? How did it start? What do we do next? - Image 2
HOW DOES THE CORONAVIRUS AFFECT SURFACES?
Contaminated droplets settle onto surfaces which people may touch thereby contaminating their hands. If they touch their eyes, mouth or nose before properly disinfecting their hands they may then become infected. Studies have shown the Coronavirus may live on surfaces up to 9 days.

HOW CAN I HELP REDUCE THE RISK OF CONTAMINATION?
Knowledge is key to reducing the risk of infection from COVID-19. The information included here is valuable, however developments are made constantly so it is good to monitor official health channels such as the CDC.

Practicing good infection prevention practices, such as frequent hand washing, is also important especially in public buildings. These practices also include; properly cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, respiratory hygiene and avoiding close contact with individuals. Most practices discussed in the media do NOT protect the individual using the practices, but rather protect others in the instance the person is infected. For example, using a mask does prevent airborne droplets from spreading if the individual wearing the mask coughs or sneezes, however the Coronavirus is small enough to enter through the mask to the wearer. Properly cleaning and disinfecting surfaces may be one of the only truly preventative measures available.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY FACILITY WAS EXPOSED?
If you believe your facility may have been exposed to the Coronavirus, it is critical that you take the utmost precaution to avoid contamination or possible infection. The building should be closed, allowing no one inside until a professional has decontaminated or disinfected the facility. The Coronavirus is not something that can be eliminated with standard cleaning products. Hospital-grade disinfectants need to be used in order to effectively treat surfaces and kill the virus. In addition, if proper protective gear is not worn there is a risk of infection to anyone who comes into contact with contaminated surfaces.

Coronavirus 101: What is it? How did it start? What do we do next? - Image 3

 

HOW CAN I DISINFECT MY FACILITY OF CORONAVIRUS?
Properly disinfecting and treating surfaces for Coronavirus is not something an untrained person should ever attempt. The process needs to be completed with extreme precaution and with the proper equipment. ServiceMaster Restore has developed several methodologies for decontamination and disinfection of viruses such as the Coronavirus or influenza virus. We have also handled other Coronavirus outbreaks, such as SARS, in the past. If you believe your facility may have been exposed to the COVID-19, call ServiceMaster by Disaster Recon immediately.

WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR DECONTAMINATION?
Our Coronavirus decontamination process starts with an analysis conducted by an industrial hygienist. Using this analysis, we develop a disinfection project plan. Each facility type is different, and it is important to make sure the disinfection plan is tailored to those specific needs.

Once we have the disinfection plan developed, we begin the process or treating and disinfecting the building. All of our technicians are trained and maintain the highest level of protective gear to make sure they are safe throughout the entire disinfection process. We use hospital-grade disinfectants and make sure each surface is treated for the required dwell time as required by the product. We have developed several methods of disinfection which will be utilized in accordance with the protocols set by the industrial hygienist. ServiceMaster by Disaster Recon ensures that product specifications are followed thereby providing the most effective disinfection possible.

If you feel your facility may have been exposed to the Coronavirus or are struggling with the influenza virus, we are here to help. To learn more about the Coronavirus, possible exposure and treatment contact ServiceMaster by Disaster Recon.

You can also email us at [email protected] or call us at 1-440-918-1523.

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