Preventing the spread of viruses is a hot topic amongst business owners and facility managers! As businesses continue to slowly reopen their doors to employees and the public, now is the time to take extra measures to ensure that your facility has a strong decontamination plan put in place. However, guaranteeing that your facility has been fully cleaned can be an overwhelming task. After all, the health and safety of your building occupants depend on it. That’s why Hughes Environmental has put together a decontamination protocol that will help you, employees as well as building occupants rest assure your facility has been thoroughly cleaned from top to bottom!
Facility Deep Cleaning Plan – Using a combination of hand wiping and/or an electrostatic sprayer to apply a disinfectant/solution that is EPA registered will also help fight against the cause of COVID-19 on surfaces. Make sure to target high touch surfaces, such as, light switches, doors and door knobs, desks and chairs, water fountains, and any common areas that get a high volume of traffic. You can also, verify certain areas of your facility are clean with COVID-19 hard surface testing. A member of our environmental team can swab high-touch areas around your facility that could be potentially infected with the virus. This test can detect the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (COVID-19 or coronavirus) on surfaces based on the CDC 2019-nCoV Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel protocol. Turnaround time for results are 24-48 hours from receipt in the laboratory.
Based on CDC Guidelines, attention will be given to high-touch area, such as:
- Counter tops
- Security Card Readers
- Escalator handrails
UVC Light Disinfection Systems – UVC refers to ultraviolet light with wavelengths between 200 – 280 nanometers (nm). Light in the UVC wavelength can be used for disinfecting duct work, sterilizing surfaces, destroying harmful micro-organisms in food products and in air. This method of disinfection uses a short-wavelength ultraviolet light to kill or inactivate microorganisms, leaving them unable to perform vital functions. Germicidal lamps are used to sterilize workspaces and tools used in pharmaceutical manufacturing, food production facilities, Semiconductor and other production facilities.
For example, The Pregerson Building, Hyperion Wastewater Treatment Plant in Los Angeles, CA is a workplace for over 400 city employees. They installed Steril-Aire UVC light to combat odor problems and employee complaints. The project was awarded a semifinalist position in “QP Awards” competition mounted by the city’s quality and productivity commission.
- EED design engineers decided on an odor-control unit that took all the outdoor ventilation air and purified it by scrubbing out the noxious elements.
- Installed high-output UVC lights at the cooling coils in the existing air handling units which serve the building.
COVID-19 Surface Testing – Hughes Environmental can verify that certain areas of your facility are clean with our specialized COVID-19 hard surface testing. A member of our environmental team can swab high-touch areas around your facility like door knobs, water fountains, breakrooms, elevator areas, or any other area that could be potentially infected with the virus. The testing is available as a complete package, which includes the complete disinfection cleaning processes or via a stand-alone service. This test platform can detect the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (COVID-19 or coronavirus) on surfaces based on the CDC 2019-nCoV Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel protocol. Turnaround time for results are 24-48 hours from receipt in the laboratory.
For instance, Hughes Environmental received a call from a one-hundred bed Skilled Nursing Facility that had a confirmed case of Legionnaires Disease in response to the Indiana Department of Health (IDOH) requesting the facility to have a third party investigation.
- Onsite Investigation: conducted an onsite investigation and developed a sampling strategy that covered the suspected areas of the facility along with a comprehensive evaluation of the building’s water systems. This sampling strategy was submitted to IDOH and accepted. Forty samples were collected from the facility, including surface swabs from suspect fixtures and bulk water samples in representative areas of all resident spaces. The initial finding was of low levels of Legionella pneumophila in several locations in the facility.
- Disinfection Strategy: A disinfection strategy was developed with the customer to include a heat treatment of the facility and point of use filters in place until the building could achieve the IDOH requirement of three consecutive clean samplings. The first heat treatment did reduce the amount of Legionella discovered in the facility, but did not eliminate all of the bacteria present. The subsequent heat treatment did eliminate the Legionella contamination.
- Post Disinfection Protocol: Bi-weekly testing was setup and the facility was able found to be Legionella free over the next three samplings. The customer requested help to develop a routine sampling strategy for all twenty-five assisted living facilities that they manage and that plan was implemented within two months at all facilities. At this time no other cases of Legionnaires Disease have been reported in any of this customer’s facilities.
By utilizing Hughes Environmental to perform cleaning, we will provide you with a media kit that includes a certificate, a press release where you can let employees, building clients and the media alike know what steps you have taken to keep your building properly cleaned and sanitized. Communicating all of the steps you have taken will help set your employee’s and building visitor’s mind at ease.
For more information about Hughes decontamination protocol contact us here, or check out our webinar on Hughes Environmental Decontamination Protocol for Infections: