After accessing whether or not it’s safe to reopen your business, you should consider how to sanitize your workplace to limit the spread of germs to your employees and customers. Although not required by the CDC, it’s a good idea to have your plan written down and shared with employees and customers.
Keep the cleaning process limited to as few people as possible and ensure they have to proper safety equipment. The CDC has released guidance for cleaning and disinfecting public spaces, workplaces, businesses, schools, and homes. You should review this guidance when implementing cleaning procedures at your facilities after shelter-in-place orders are lifted.
Here are a few things to think about when considering how to maintain a clean, sanitized, and safe work environment.
Keeping the Workplace Safe
Disinfect your business before anyone returns to work. Sanitize and disinfect all areas, giving special attention to tools, workstations, and equipment, restrooms, food service areas, common surface areas, phones, computers, and other electronics. Your business should be 100% disinfected prior to anyone returning to work (other than those assisting with the cleaning process). Here are some local cleaning services:
- ServPro of Iowa City/Coralville
615 Hwy 1 W, Iowa City
- EHC Cedar Rapids/Iowa City
225 Center Point Rd, Hiawatha
- Big Deep Clean Services
Replace HVAC air filters or clean/disinfect existing filters. Increase ventilation by opening windows or adjusting air conditioning. Here are some local HVAC services:
- Brandt Heating & Air Conditioning
2325 Heinz Rd, Iowa City
- Kelly Heating Service
1936 South Riverside Drive, Iowa City
- Mechanical Service Inc.
1218 Highland Ct. Iowa City, IA
Cleaning and Disinfecting After Reopening
Once you’ve reopened, routinely clean and disinfect all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, keyboards, telephones, handrails, and doorknobs. For disinfection, most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective. A list of products that are EPA-approved for use against the virus that causes COVID-19 is available here. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, etc.). Here are additional items to consider when keeping your workplace safe.
- If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
- Discourage staff members from using other employees’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, when possible. If necessary, clean and disinfect them before and after use.
- Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (for example, doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks, other work tools, and equipment) can be wiped down by employees before each use. To disinfect, use products that meet EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-Cov-2, the cause of COVID-19, and are appropriate for the surface.
COVID-19 “deep-cleaning” is triggered when an active employee is identified as being COVID-19 positive by testing. Sites may opt to have a deep cleaning performed for presumed cases, at their discretion. Identify an approved external company that should carry out the deep cleaning activity; this company must have the minimum requirements of:
- Trained personnel to execute the process of cleaning, disinfection, and disposal of hazardous waste
- Proper equipment and PPE to perform the task
- All necessary procedures and local authorizations or permits to perform disinfection services and manage any
- Use of approved COVID-19 disinfectant chemicals to perform this activity
Cleaning and Disinfection Considerations for Employers
Here are additional CDC and OSHA guidelines for cleaning and sanitizing your workplace.
- Cleaning and Disinfection for Community Facilities (Shortened Handout) (CDC Guidelines 4/18/20)
- Cleaning and Disinfection for Community Facilities (Full Text Website) (CDC webpage 4/18/20)
- Cleaning and Disinfection Your Facility (4/18/20)
- Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 (OSHA Guidelines 4/18/20)
- Prepare your Small Business and Employees for the Effects of COVID-19 (4/18/20)
- Protect Yourself: Cleaning Chemicals and Your Health (4/23/2020)
- Iowa Restuarant Association Guidelines