Coronavirus cleaning boom is here

July 6, 2020
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Commercial cleaning is a mature industry that grows in line with GDP but after the coronavirus, I think you have a secular tailwind to commercial cleaning. Everyone from governments to corporates to individuals have a heightened focus on hygiene. “ That’s according to Tim Tim Mulrooney, a commercial services equities analyst.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the coronavirus mainly spreads through the air, riding on droplets coughed or breathed out by people carrying the virus. Businesses will have to make a variety of accommodations to combat that risk, such as spacing workers farther apart and erecting barriers in open offices.

But the virus can also persist on surfaces and then infect someone when it’s carried to their eyes or mouth. “Fortunately, this virus is easy to kill on surfaces,” says Joe Allen, an assistant professor at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health and co-author of the recent book Healthy Buildings. “EPA-registered disinfectants will work. The trickier part is around the frequency of cleaning. If you clean once a day in a highly trafficked area, that’s not enough.” High-touch areas like doorknobs and light switches will need particular attention, Allen says.

That means more labour for cleaning crews. The post-lockdown reality means increasing the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting, and those changes will be in place indefinitely. 

Many businesses are adding entirely new elements to their sanitation approach. The goal of these and other heightened measures as instilling “facility confidence” in both workers and customers, who will be looking at the world with a largely new set of concerns.

As you’re walking into either a food service space, hospitality, health care, retail—anything, visitors will ask: “What’s inside that building? Is there something there that could negatively affect my health?”

The new normal

Companies and experts anticipate that heightened cleaning standards will be in place for the long haul. “I think there’s no question that a permanent shift is coming,” says Allen.

That could have profound benefits for people’s health, even after COVID-19 is under control. The same chemicals and procedures used to slow the spread of the coronavirus also meet CDC guidelines for controlling influenza, which kills between 290 000 to 650 000 people globally each year, despite the availability of a vaccine.

Fresher, cleaner air will come with an energy cost, but it could also increase office health and productivity.

“Decades of science show that when we bring in more fresh air, we have fewer sick days, less disease transmission, and better cognitive function,” says Allen.

Adapted from article written by David J Morris and published on Fortune.com

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