We all know what it’s like when Cold & Flu season comes around and no more so than business owners – with them seeing staff coming into work ill or even taking a couple of days off. But to ensure that we are ready to deal with large numbers of cold, flu and other respiratory viral infection cases, the UK and other northern hemisphere countries look at the southern hemisphere and gauge how we can effectively react and treat these cases.
However, with the recent outbreak of COVID-19 many health care organisations speculate that there will be increasing numbers of respiratory viral infections caused by both the Cold & flu virus and COVID-19, and health care facilities and hospitals should be bracing themselves for one of the worst seasons.
But will it?
With the Cold & flu season now in full swing within the Southern Hemisphere countries, the Advisory Board recently published an article and mentioned from the Wall Street Journal’s David Luhnow and Alice Uribe report that the annual influx of respiratory infections ‘never came’.
This comes after Chile reported that they only had recorded just over 1,000 infections so far, compared to the 20,000 infections during the same time period last year.
But does this mean that cleaning practices are working?
Although there is no definitive answer whether improved cleaning practises has helped reduce the number of recorded cases of respiratory infections, it is certainly a contributing factor – along with regular hand washing and sanitising, social distancing, travel restrictions and the wearing of masks.
But even with no definitive answer, here are some steps you can take to keep your staff safe during the upcoming flu season.
Maintain good hand hygiene
To ensure that we are not spreading COVID-19 via surfaces, many businesses and buildings are encouraging us to maintain good hand hygiene by sanitising our hands and washing them for 20 seconds with warm water and soap. So, to prevent flu from spreading between your staff, encourage them to sanitise their hands before or when they come into your building and to wash their hands for 20 seconds when they have been to the bathroom and/or have been handling/eating food.
Increase high touch area cleaning
Throughout the day we can touch hundreds if not thousands of different surfaces which can all potentially have viruses. But there are certain areas within your businesses that are touched more than others. Light switches, Office Phones, Door handles, handrails, computer equipment and desks are just some of the most touched areas that are regularly touched by staff – making them hotbeds for viruses to grow and spread. To avoid viruses like the flu spreading from these areas, increase your normal cleaning of these areas – whether that is asking your cleaning teams to be extra vigilant or to sanitise these areas between your normal cleaning schedule.
Many think cleaning and disinfecting are the same but actually they are not. Cleaning entails the removal of dirt and debris from surfaces whereas disinfecting entails the use of cleaning chemical that kills bacteria and viruses.
One way you can ensure that your staff are able to work in a clean and flu and COVID-19 free environment is to use cleaning products that are viricidal and are proven to kill viruses (Don’t be tempted to use one product does all, as they won’t be effective against viruses).
Another way you can effectively disinfect your business and ensure your staffs work environment is healthy is to invest in bio-misting. Bio-misting allows a fine mist of disinfectant to be sprayed within a room, coating all areas (including hard to reach areas). This means that all areas within your staff work environment are disinfected and when then disinfectant is dry, it gets to work right away killing 99.9999% of bacteria and viruses that are living on surfaces – and remains active for several days.
We at A&R Cleaning Services are all too familiar with businesses experiencing high numbers of staff sickness during Cold & flu season. And now with the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping a clean and healthy work environment for staff is important.
Due to our experience within the cleaning industry and proactive nature, we regularly use viricidal cleaning products that are proven to kill viruses including COVID-19 and the Influenza virus. Alongside our cleaning products, we use colour coded cloths and equipment that prevents viruses from cross-contaminating surfaces – providing effective infection control. And have invested in new technologies including our new bio-misting services which you can find out more about here.
For more information on how we can help keep you and your staff safe during the pandemic or the Cold & flu season take a look at our website or get in touch with us on 01656 713950.