Decontamination and Preventative Disinfecting Services
Working with renowned experts in the field of environmental science and in conjunction with our in-house environmental remediation experts, ServiceMaster by ARS has developed preventative baseline cleaning and decontamination protocols and standard operations practices related to the COVID-19 virus. To best meet our clients’ needs we have developed two areas of operating procedures. One set of protocols addresses any preventative cleaning needs for facilities at a heightened risk of infection or looking to take proactive measures to protect their customers, residents or patrons. The second set of standard operating procedures relates to any facility that believes it has been exposed to the COVID-19 virus or has a confirmed case of the coronavirus. Developing two sets of procedures helps us maximize the effectiveness of the cleaning or decontamination while reducing any unnecessary cost.
Both our preventative cleaning and decontamination protocols involve not only specific requirements for cleaning, but also the disinfectants and decontamination systems to be used. In addition, we utilize strict personal protective equipment (PPE) standards for all employees throughout the entire process. Not only are we currently conducting preventative cleaning and decontamination services for COVID-19 coronavirus across the country, but we have years of past experience handling similar outbreaks and pandemics such as SARS and MERS.
Take precautions and proceed with appropriate personal protective equipment.
Isolate and disinfect critical points of exposure and high touch areas.
Disinfect all other areas as appropriate.
Use EPA registered and approved products** for disinfection appropriate to the situation.
Properly dispose of contaminated cleaning materials.
**There are no known products that claim to kill this particular strain of COVID-19, our products meet the EPA’s Emerging Pathogen Standard as likely effective against COVID-19,
based on previous Coronavirus strains. We can only guarantee a temporary reduction in possibility of spread in object to person contact.
Corona Virus (COVID-19) Information Desk:
WHAT IS THE CORONAVIRUS?
Coronavirus AKA COVID-19, is a respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, China suspected to have originated in a large animal and seafood market. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some of which affect humans while others affect animals only. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) is a different type of Coronavirus but is NOT the same as what is now being generally labeled “the Coronavirus”.
HOW DOES THE CORONAVIRUS SPREAD?
While we are still learning more about the new COVID-19 virus, scientists believe the virus will act similar to other more well-known Coronaviruses such as MERS or SARS. It is believed that the coronavirus spreads from person-to-person when in close proximity to each other. The standard accepted distance is about six feet. The virus is spread much like the flu by an infected person coughing or sneezing. This introduces tiny respiratory droplets that can enter a non-infected person’s mouth, nose or be inhaled into the lungs. As with other respiratory viruses, individuals are typically considered to be most contagious when they are demonstrating the greatest level of symptoms.
HOW DOES THE CORONAVIRUS AFFECT SURFACES?
Contaminated droplets settle onto surfaces which people may touch thereby contaminating their hands. If they touch their eyes, mouth or nose before properly disinfecting their hands they may then become infected. Studies have shown the coronavirus may live on surfaces up to nine days.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF THE CORONAVIRUS?
While the intensity of symptoms varies, with some individuals showing little or no symptoms and others demonstrating severe illness and even dying, the three main symptoms include;
• Fever (Above 101º F)
• Shortness of breath
These symptoms may begin showing within two days of being exposed but may take as long as 14 days
HOW CAN I HELP REDUCE THE RISK OF CONTAMINATION?
The information included here is valuable, however developments are made constantly so it is good to monitor official health channels such as the CDC.
Practicing good infection prevention practices, such as frequent hand washing, is also important especially in public buildings. These practices also include; properly cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, respiratory hygiene and avoiding close contact with individuals. Most practices discussed in the media do NOT protect the individual using the practices, but rather protect others in the instance the person is infected. For example, using a mask does prevent airborne droplets from spreading if the individual wearing the mask coughs or sneezes, however the coronavirus is small enough to enter through the mask to the wearer. Properly cleaning and disinfecting surfaces may be one of the only truly preventative measures available.
Seek medical attention immediately. Call your doctor or local hospital and explain your situation to them. With it being prime season for the Flu and respiratory viruses, it is important to cooperate with medical professionals to reach a proper diagnosis. They may ask you some questions to help such as have you or anyone you have been in contact with recently traveled to China, answer these questions honestly.
Frequently asked questions:
What is Coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 aka COVID-19?
COVID-19 is an enveloped virus causing mild to severe respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. It was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.2
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Symptoms can include fever, cough, and shortness of breath, which may appear 2-14 days post exposure.2
How does COVID-19 spread?
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person to person between those in close contact (within ~6 feet) and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It may be possible for a person to get the virus by touching a surface or object and then touching their own nose, mouth, or possibly eyes, although at this time this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.2
What are simple, everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses?
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Avoid touching your nose, mouth, and eyes with unwashed hands.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are unavailable, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.2
Which disinfectants are effective against COVID-19?
Because the virus is so new, the EPA has not tested and established efficacy protocols or inactivation claims. The EPA has issued “Guidance to registrants: process for making claims against emerging viral pathogens not on EPA-registered disinfectant labels,” (4) which at this time establishes approved products. An eligible product must meet the criteria in the document in order to make limited claims about disinfectant efficacy.
ServiceMaster disinfectants that can make this claim in line with dwell times and product labels are Peridox, Virex Plus, Sanimaster 7, Sanimaster 6, and Decon 30.
What is disinfectant dwell time?
Dwell time is the required period that a surface must remain wet for a disinfectant to achieve full efficacy.
It is important to keep in mind that COVID-19 is a new and emerging pathogen. Regulators are just beginning to understand COVID-19 — how it spreads, the incubation period, length and severity of illness — knowledge that will develop over time. We will continue to update you as the CDC, EPA, FDA, and OSHA provide more information.
5 | P a g e
1. CDC list of approved products or source products for COVID-19 disinfection (note: this may not an all-encompassing list):
2. CDC interim guidance for employers:
3. CDC how COVID-19 spreads:
4. Environmental Protection Agency, Emerging Viral Pathogen Guidance for Antimicrobial Pesticides:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coronavirus Summary.
Preventing COVID-19 Spread in Communities CDC:
Food and Drug Administration, Coronavirus:
World Health Organization, Coronavirus:
Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 2019 Novel Coronavirus: