How facilities are cleaned amid COVID-19

By | September 10, 2020

WINNIPEG — We continue to hear of businesses throughout Manitoba having to close down to be cleaned after an employee or customer at the business tested positive for COVID-19.

But what does the cleaning process look like?

Rafiq Punjani, the owner of Anago Cleaning Systems, said a lot goes into making sure the public can return to a business.

He said business has picked up quite a bit compared to pre-COVID times and his cleaners have been called for both preventative cleaning and cleaning after a case was identified.

“From office spaces to convenience stores,” said Punjani.

HOW TO CLEAN AFTER A COVID-19 CASE

Punjani said when his company gets called to disinfect a business that has a COVID-19 case, the first thing they determine is how big is the area is. Is it an office space or is it a large store?

“When we are called, if let’s say it is a small place, like you know one, two, three, 5,000 square feet, we will clean everything. We don’t have to pick and choose what we clean and what we don’t,” said Punjani, “but if this person was supposed to be working in a 100,000 square foot facility, this person has not been going to the entire 100,000 square feet.”

He added when it is a larger facility, his company will do contact tracing and determine the most frequent places the person visited.

Once that is figured out, Punjani said his employees will then show up to get to work. When they are cleaning a facility that has had a known COVID-19 case, the cleaners will show up in full hazmat suits to avoid getting infected.

Then when they start cleaning, there are two steps to the cleaning process.

“Number one is called manual disinfection. With manual disinfection, all touchpoints, all horizontal surfaces. Like if this person had a table, we want to get the infection area they passed through or potentially stand. The photocopy area, the lunchroom, the restrooms they go to. We literally wipe clean with disinfectants every surface, every touchpoint, every doorknob, every light switch.”

He added that wiping surfaces can only do so much and it doesn’t tackle the areas where someone may have coughed or sneezed on a wall or object.

Punjani said the second step is the spray treatment and he said Anago uses electrostatic sprayers.

“These are state of the art machines which engulf the whole object… Let’s say it is a chair, and you point the spray gun towards it and you spray. It’s not only going to cover or spray the side of the chair, it literally covers the whole chair.”

Punjani said his company will then spray everything from the windows and walls to bookshelves and plants.

Once the cleaning is done, he added they will leave stickers and a notice at the building saying the company has been professionally disinfected.

Dr. Brent Roussin, the province’s chief provincial public health officer, commented on the electrostatic sprayers Thursday afternoon, noting it is still important to make sure surfaces are wiped down.

“We have to rely on the acceptable disinfection right now. Wiping down the surfaces with an appropriate thing,” said Roussin, who noted the sprayers could cause additional benefits.

He said however, public health officials are not currently recommending the use of the machines.

Punjani said the best use for electrostatic sprayers is for non-horizontal or irregular surfaces.

PRICES FOR CLEANING

Punjani added if a company is looking to be cleaned, most cleaning companies will charge between $35-$60 per hour.

He said when electrostatic is added to the process companies could be charged anywhere from .02₵-.05₵ a square foot.

He added most of the time the jobs can be done by one cleaner but the bigger projects could take two people to speed up the process.

CTV News has reached out to the province for additional details about its cleaning guidelines.

  

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