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What to do if an employee gets COVID-19

When an employee at an eastern Oregon casino tested positive for COVID-19, the entire facility shut down. Within hours, the casino had cleared out thousands of customers and closed its doors for two days of deep cleaning using hospital-grade disinfecting equipment. There’s a lot to consider if an employee gets COVID-19.

It’s up to each business to determine how it will react to coronavirus exposure. From notifying employees to disinfecting contaminated facilities, a complex web of legal obligations, restrictions, market forces and operational concerns will govern what a business can and cannot do—and these can vary between industries and individual companies. While some businesses may close down entirely to disinfect their facilities, others may need to continue operating, so it’s important to work with a cleaning partner> who can accommodate your unique needs.

Taking precautions can help limit the chances of your employees contracting the virus, but there are no guarantees. If someone from your company does test positive for COVID-19, here are some steps you can take to minimize exposure and protect your employees and customers.

Step 1: Retrace the infected employee’s steps

The most important thing to do if an employee gets COVID-19 and your workplace has been contaminated is to methodically map out which parts of your facility the infected employee has accessed so you can disinfect any surfaces they may have touched. These can include not only the person’s individual workspace but restrooms, break rooms, meeting rooms and other shared spaces.

Step 2: Immediately close off all affected areas

Once you know where the employee has been, immediately close off those areas until they can be disinfected. If you can’t close them entirely, restrict access as much as possible; If possible, you may need to provide alternate exit and entry routes for other employees near the impacted areas.

Step 3: Open doors and windows

Since COVID-19 is transmitted via respiratory droplets, you’ll want to increase ventilation to the affected areas to limit the presence of the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends opening doors and windows to improve air circulation and waiting as long as possible—preferably at least 24 hours—before disinfecting.

Step 4: Disinfect all surfaces

It’s unclear how long the novel coronavirus remains active on contaminated surfaces. “Under real-world situations, it’s probably minutes, but it could be days,” says Dr. Jay C. Butler, deputy director for infectious diseases for the CDC. “It depends on the temperature, humidity and the type of surface.”

Proper disinfecting requires a multi-step process. First, dirt must be cleaned from the contaminated area. Then all surfaces need to be disinfected using a product the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers effective against COVID-19. It’s important to follow the label’s directions carefully and leave the product on for the full recommended time to kill the virus.

Step 5: Follow up with electrostatic spraying

Electrostatic spraying uses a power sprayer to break down cleaners into smaller droplets to more evenly cover the target area. Each droplet is charged as it leaves the machine to more readily seek surfaces. Using this technique, your cleaning partner can cover the area more quickly and thoroughly than with traditional manual spraying.

Step 6: Find the proper service provider

Dealing with COVID-19 exposure can be stressful, and it’s something every business leader needs to prepare for. If an employee gets COVID-19 and you have a confirmed COVID-19 case, look for Restoration Service providers in your area. They deal with mold, fire and bodily damage and some have the proper training, insurance, and equipment. It will be expensive but worth the effort.

At Cleansolution we focus on proactive measures! That’s our niche. It’s essential to have a proactive cleaning partner in your corner. We are not a restoration service provider but a local janitorial company in Portland, Oregon and NOVA Virginia. We offer a better value for daily cleaning compared to restoration companies and we own an electrostatic sprayer. Contact us for a free consultation. We can even tour your facility virtually.