The past couple of years have been a roller coaster ride.
We’re not here to recap everything that’s happened. That would probably require a book, and besides, it’s been attempted in plenty of other places. We’re just here to offer thoughts on where things are going, especially where commercial cleaning services are concerned.
Because the unfortunate reality is that the rollercoaster is making another circuit around the track; this fall, we’re facing pandemic-related challenges yet again. The good news is that the fundamentals of the course haven’t changed.
Commercial cleaning this fall will still bring challenges and opportunities. Here’s what to expect.
1. We’ll stay up to date with government regulations and CDC guidance.
Throughout the pandemic, we’ve been vigilant in staying up to date with guidelines and regulations issued by government entities like the CDC. We’ll continue to do that.
Toward that end, here’s what’s changed and what hasn’t:
Recommended cleaning procedures are the same.
There’s been a lot of news about the Delta variant. Data suggests that it’s more transmissible than earlier Covid strains, and that current vaccines may be less effective at preventing infection and spread.
However, data does not suggest that the Delta variant spreads in any markedly different way from previous Covid strains – meaning that there is no evidence to suggest that surface transmission is playing a major role in the spread of the virus.
This means that the recommended cleaning procedures for coronavirus remain the same as they have been for months. These include (as we’ve written before):
- For hard surfaces, the CDC recommends, “[Cleaning] using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection… For disinfection, most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective.”
- For porous surfaces (think carpets, drapes, rugs, etc.), the CDC recommends removing visible contamination, then laundering or using EPA-approved suitable products.
- Frequently touched surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected often.
- Cleaning employees should wear disposable gloves and frequently wash their hands (especially after removing gloves).
Note that it is not necessary to double down on disinfecting procedures, especially if an infected individual has not been in a building for over 24 hours.
Influenza season isn’t going anywhere.
As we enter the fall and winter, Influenza season will also be upon us.
Last year, the medical community seemingly ignored influenza, and most facilities stopped testing for it. Covid-19 was their only focus, hence the numbers of influenza cases were seriously diminished and flawed. We are hoping that changes this year and encourage anyone having Covid or flu-like symptoms to ask for a separate influenza test in addition to the Covid-19 test.
Regardless, our methods of cleaning and disinfecting will remain the same. Both Covid-19 and influenza are structured and spread in the exact same manor. Our life-cycle approach to cleaning for health will protect against both viruses.
Vaccine and testing requirements have changed.
Last year at this time, vaccines weren’t available. Going forward, however, federal buildings are requiring contracted employees to show proof of a negative Covid test within the past week, or proof of vaccination.
At The Wilburn Company, we are aware of and fully complying with these requirements.
2. We’ll be available for prompt communication.
One of the big wins for us over the pandemic period has been our ability to quickly respond to and communicate with our clients. It will continue to be an area of focus for us this fall.
Our recently introduced work order system (driven by a convenient mobile app) allows for anytime-access to cleaning information and support, and our building managers enjoy developing trust-based relationships with our clients.
We’ve already been seeing an increase in disinfecting requests – and we’ve been responding quickly.
The bottom line is that communication is something we take pride in. If the situation in your building changes this fall, you can count on us to make communication easy.
3. We’ll push into recycling programs.
Finally, here’s something non-Covid-related: Recycling is undergoing updates across the country, and we’re excited to help our clients push into new programs.
Almost exactly two years ago, we wrote about the shift that was underway in recycling thanks to China’s changed standards. The gist of the shift was that US recycling programs used to function as single stream processes; all recyclable materials were deposited into a single container, with the idea that they’d be sorted later.
The problem was that this led to some level of contamination – and when China raised their standards for acceptable materials to less than 0.5% contamination a few years ago, it meant that many organizations had to significantly adapt their processes.
Today, updates are continuing to take effect. This often looks like setting up different disposal points for different materials, so that recyclables are presorted and contamination is minimized.
We expect this trend to continue this fall (and for the foreseeable future). If you’re interested in discussing your building’s recycling program, get in touch with us.
Ready to keep your cleaning moving forward this fall?
A lot has changed, and a lot has stayed the same. At The Wilburn Company, we don’t know what the future holds. But we’re confident that, no matter what’s in store, we can help you keep your buildings clean and safe.
From navigating the twists and turns of the pandemic to implementing next-step initiatives like updated recycling programs, we can help you to upgrade your commercial cleaning services.