The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been very active in coming up with recommendations on how people can prevent the spread of COVID-19 since the pandemic began. As new pieces of information about the virus and how it infects people keep unfolding, the CDC constantly updates its recommendation.
The most recent update results from a new study, which shows that the chances of contracting the COVID-19 virus from a surface are low, and too frequent cleaning may cause more damage than good.
According to the CDC’s updated information on the surface transmission of SARS-CoV-2s, the principal mode of transmission of the COVID-19 virus is through exposure to respiratory droplets carrying the infectious virus. While people can be infected through contact with contaminated surfaces or objects (fomites), the risk of it happening is considered low.
The CDC states that many studies have been conducted on how long SARS-CoV-2 can survive on various porous and non-porous surfaces. The results show that the virus becomes undetectable within minutes to hours of landing on porous surfaces. For non-porous surfaces, the virus can be detected even after days or weeks. These studies also reveal a 99% reduction in infectious SARS-CoV-2 and other coronavirus variants under typical environmental conditions within three (3) days on non-porous surfaces like stainless steel, plastic, and glass.
Data shows that after accounting for surface survival data of the virus and real-world transmission factors, the risk of fomite transmission after a person with COVID-19 has been in an indoor space is minor after 72 hours, regardless of when the area was last cleaned.
To critically make the COVID-19 virus inactive on surfaces, the surface must be treated with a disinfectant product registered with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) List N or any technology that is effective against the virus.
Note: While surface disinfection has been shown as effective for preventing secondary transmission, there is no evidence to show that frequent routine disinfection of surfaces (daily/hourly disinfection) prevents SARS-CoV-2 transmission from fomites.
A summary of the new recommendations
- Cleaning products containing soap or detergent reduces germs on surfaces and may weaken or damage some of the virus particles, therefore, reducing infection from surfaces.
- If there are no people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 in a certain space, cleaning once a day is enough to sufficiently remove the COVID-19 virus from surfaces and help the facility remain healthy.
- Disinfecting with the approved List N disinfectants kills any remaining germs on surfaces, which reduces any risk of spreading infection.
- If there has been a sick person or someone who tested positive for COVID-19 in the premises within the last 24 hours, you should clean and disinfect the space.
You may either clean or disinfect (in addition to cleaning) more frequently if a space has a high risk of infection, such as:
What does this mean for your business?
This means quite a few things. First, there has been a growing concern among business owners and health workers that the aggressive and frequent use of disinfectants can reduce the lifespan of surfaces and may be dangerous to the health of the people in the disinfected space.
Therefore, stating that every surface has to be cleaned and disinfected regularly means your business can reduce the number of times certain surfaces in the workspace are cleaned and disinfected. Instead of disinfecting your surfaces hourly or daily, you can carry out weekly or monthly routine disinfection instead. Cleaning can still be done daily or even more frequently, but disinfection can be done periodically by a professional disinfecting company like Safe From Spread.
Also, this means that you can rest easy knowing that you don’t have to frequently use corrosive disinfectants on delicate surfaces and electronics anymore since you can simply clean them and let a professional disinfecting company carry out the disinfection.
Health safety is a huge aspect of the new business world. To ensure that your workspace is kept safe at all times, you need the services of a professional disinfection company like Safe From Spread to ensure proper disinfection of your home and workplace.