Check out our latest professional janitorial services tips and tricks for safely removing germs and bacteria in your home, school, or office.
Janitorial Services Tips and Tricks to Remove Germs
Cold and flu season might be drawing to a close, but the recent lockdown of several schools in California, after multiple norovirus outbreaks sickened thousands of students and faculty, shows we must be ever vigilant against the spread of germs in our homes, educational facilities, and places of work.
Poorly informed media outlets continue to report that norovirus infections are not life-threatening, which is patently false.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;
Each year on average in the United States, norovirus—
Causes 19–21 million cases of acute gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach or intestines or both).
Leads to 1.7–1.9 million outpatient visits and 400,000 emergency department visits, primarily in young children, and;
Contributes to about 56,000–71,000 hospitalizations and 570-800 deaths, mostly among young children and the elderly.
The cause of death is primarily due to dehydration and malnutrition--the direct result of diarrhea and vomiting induced by the virus.
The reasons the virus remains a significant concern are three-fold:
- The dangerously incorrect information being conveyed by misinformed media outlets.
- The norovirus' natural resistance to most common commercial disinfectants, except for bleach at a very high concentration level, which can be just as deadly, if not more so, and;
- Unsanitary hand washing practices.
Green Cleaning Tips
Recent studies have established the lack of efficacy of most standard commercial disinfectants in removing or killing the norovirus and several other common germs.
For More Information:
Fortunately, there are several things parents, school administrators, and office managers or business owners can do to minimize exposure and infection.
In the Home
Learning that your child is being sent home from school after a lockdown due to a viral outbreak can be troubling for parents, especially if there is a much younger sibling, or older relative living in the house.
Many germs, specifically the norovirus, can remain contagious for weeks after recuperation, making transference much more likely.
When someone does fall ill in the home, the following will help reduce the chances of spreading the disease to everyone else:
- Wash all soiled clothing and other material immediately.
- Change out toothbrushes.
- Don't share eating or drinking utensils.
- Clean, then sanitize all high-contact surfaces with a Green Seal Certified wipe or spray cleaner.
- Clean all toddler/baby toys with an approved soap in warm water, and allow to air dry in a clean location, out of the way of infected individuals.
- Isolate the infected individual as much as possible, and try to avoid unnecessary physical contact.
One of the most common places for viral outbreaks to start is in public restrooms, not because the bathroom isn't sanitary, but because people typically have very poor hand hygiene.
According to a June 2013 article published by CBS News;
Twelve researchers were deployed undercover to public restrooms located across a college town for the study.
They observed more than 3,700 people using public restrooms, and found 95 percent of them were cutting corners.
Thirty-three percent of people didn't use soap, while 10 percent skipped hand-washing entirely.
The average hand-washing time was 6 seconds, far below the CDC's recommended duration.
Further, specifically, norovirus outbreaks tend to be foodborne, meaning the virus was transferred and ingested by food that was not adequately cleaned or prepared, or it was cooked by someone who did not wash their hands according to CDC and OSHA guidelines.
A routine, green janitorial services cleaning regimen that mandates the daily disinfection of all high-contact surfaces is necessary to combat the increasing epidemic of school acquired illness, including:
- Counters and sinks in the classroom, cafeteria, and restrooms.
- All stalls, urinals, and toilets.
- Door knobs and handles.
- Light switches, and;
- Computer equipment.
Given the number of waking hours the average adult spends at work, the likelihood that you will acquire a cold or other viral infection originating from the workplace is high.
Modern designs, such as open offices, especially where equipment is shared, have compounded the problem significantly.
Given the disturbing hand-washing statistics, much of the responsibility to stay healthy falls on the employee, but the business must do more to ensure their health.
- Encourage workers to clean up after themselves, and provide ample supplies to simplify the task, and increase the probability of compliance.
- Establish a 'sick worker stays home' policy, it will cost your business significantly less in the long-run.
- Offices, much like schools, are hotbeds for germs, so make sure to clean and disinfect all high-contact, non-porous surfaces daily.
- Employ an electrostatic cleaning appliance to quickly and cost-effectively disinfect three-dimensional surfaces, such as computers, photocopiers, desks, gym equipment, and furniture.
- Pay particular attention to kitchens, break rooms, and cafeterias, as surface-to-hand-to-mouth transfer is the most common way a person infects themselves with a germ.
References & Resources
- 4 Cleaning Tips to Get Rid of Germs
- How to Clean and Disinfect Baby Toys
- 70 Tips for Cleaning Your House after the Kids are Sick
- How to prevent germs from spreading
- Minimizing Cold and Flu Germs at Home
- How To Clean and Disinfect Schools To Help Slow the Spread of Flu
Norovirus and other germ outbreaks are no small matter, and they can take a devastating financial and personal toll on homes, schools, and businesses.
More and more, scientific studies are discovering that these virus' are, or have become, resistant to the toxic chemical disinfectants typically used to remove or kill them, often leaving behind poisonous fumes and residue that are just as dangerous, if not worse.
Young children and the elderly are most vulnerable to these illnesses, and while the news media continues to spread false information regarding the dangers, the likelihood that a healthy teenager will be sent home from school after being infected, due to poor sanitary practices, and affecting a younger sibling or grandparent is exceptionally high.
If you would like to learn more about the advantages of contracting outsourced janitorial services to remove germs and bacteria from your school or office, contact us today for a free quote!
In Bakersfield CA, call (661) 437-3253
In Fresno CA, call (559) 206-1059
In Valencia CA, or Santa Clarita CA, call (661) 437-3253