By Jennifer Meek, Director of Marketing at Charlotte Products
It’s been a long two years. COVID-19 has been a lot of things, many of them very sad, but it has also been a catalyst for change around public safety across the entire globe. At first, we struggled to make sense of the virus, which forced massive shut downs, confusion and unimaginable tragedy. Then, as we learned more about how the virus spreads and the ways we could protect ourselves and each other, we adapted public health strategies to mitigate risk and make spaces healthier and safer.
Today, many restrictions have been lifted and we continue onto a sense of normalcy that had seemed almost unattainable for so long. But that doesn’t mean COVID-19 is over, nor does it mean that it will ever be gone completely. And can we ever really go back to normal? How have our responsibilities to each other and public health forever changed due to this pandemic? In this blog, let’s take a look at some of the lessons we’ve learned over the past two years and check in about what the state of public health is today, in 2022.
Update your hand hygiene program.
If we’ve learned anything about infection prevention over the past two years, it is that hand hygiene reigns supreme. You will want to make it very easy for your building occupants to have access to all the tools they need to wash their hands throughout their time in your building. Include signage to assure them you understand the importance of hand hygiene, while also reminding them to do their part. We recommend a mixture of touchless hand soap dispensers in bathrooms and next to all sinks, with hand sanitizer stations where sinks are unavailable. Choose products from trusted distributors and manufacturers, and make sure you always have plenty available.
Increase the amount of training you provide.
A robust training program will be an investment in your facility every time. Not only is it important to train new hires, but it’s also important to re-train existing employees consistently on processes, especially infection prevention procedures with an emphasis on your disinfection protocol. We believe so strongly in the need for facilities to invest in training that we have opened a new training facility that is available for our customers to use to provide virtual or in-person training for their staff.
Follow the Five Critical Security Elements of Disinfection.
Facilities have ramped up their infection control programs, and many have invested in new disinfecting products and technologies in the face of increased pressure, regulations and publicity during the pandemic. You could have the strongest product and the most advanced technology, but if your process is not precise then you will not have results. The science of disinfection is simple. That’s why we have highlighted the Five Critical Security Elements of Disinfection to help guide you and your team through the necessary process that ensures the disinfection process is effective.
Practice precision cleaning.
The pandemic has ushered in a new perspective for the cleaning industry. No longer will the primary goal of cleaning be for appearances. Now, we must all clean for health. Precision cleaning is a term used to denote the shift, and it includes using metrics to measure how well your cleaning staff, processes and products are working so that you can ensure your buildings are healthy. Precision cleaning is the practice of cleaning and disinfecting without overusing products, with effective training programs and with the proper tools to measure and validate your efforts. Measurement and validation become key components of a precision cleaning system because this is the way you can monitor your cleaning performance, optimize your ROI and resources and prove to your building occupants that their space is safe and healthy.
Over the past two years, the market has been flooded with new technologies and products claiming to help mitigate COVID-19. The truth is that having an efficient, effective cleaning protocol with a robust infection prevention program is all you need, and all you have ever needed, to keep infections like COVID-19 at bay. Time has shown that facilities that had a strong cleaning workforce with excellent training programs and data collection systems fared well during the COVID-19 pandemic and had less risk of outbreaks overall. These programs were able to adapt quickly to new requirements such as social distancing measures, building closures and the requirement for increased disinfection. In addition, these programs were able to be innovative about supply chain disruptions and keep a newly aware public satisfied.
Keep informed with Charlotte Products resources. We will continue to release our popular webinar series, which grew out of the pandemic, that will highlight current topics in public health and the cleaning industry twice a month. You can also subscribe to our follow our blog by email to get the latest information delivered directly to you. If you have a specific question, reach out to an expert at Charlotte any time and we will be happy to answer it for you.