CloroxPro Blog – Professional Cleaning and Disinfection Insights

A blog from industry experts devoted to public health awareness, best practices, and the role of environmental cleaning and disinfection, to promote safer, healthier public spaces.

Outbreaks Can Happen Anywhere https://www.cloroxpro.ca/blog/outbreaks-can-happen-anywhere/ August 19, 2020 https://www.cloroxpro.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/ResizedImageWzYwMCw0MDBd-478167977-GTY-RF-ConferenceRoom-06-08-15-1627-small-2.jpg
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Outbreaks Can Happen Anywhere

Communicable diseases cause a significant burden on society1 and the widespread outbreak of COVID-19 has brought a harsh reality for both healthcare and non-healthcare facilities alike. This respiratory disease, caused by a coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, is a reminder of the importance of infection prevention efforts and the need for continued vigilance.2

In the current COVID-19 pandemic, there have been numerous incidents of infection outbreaks at different types of non-healthcare facilities, such as large warehouses, food plants, meat manufacturing plants, grocery stores, etc.3 

As public facilities and business open in a phased manner after the unprecedented lockdown and closure due to COVID-19, it is imperative that cleaning, disinfection and infection prevention and control measures are undertaken and adhered to in order to prevent additional outbreaks.2

Educate

COVID-19 has also highlighted the importance of infection control and prevention education for facility managers, custodians and professional cleaners to ensure facilities/businesses are cleaned and disinfected properly to help prevent the spread of illness causing germs and protect human health.4,5

Everything from hand hygiene to wearing masks to personal protective equipment, to choosing the correct product for each cleaning job, to knowing the proper process to implement, and execute environmental disinfection, all play a vital role in helping prevent the spread of communicable infections.4

Be “healthcare clean”

“Healthcare clean”, an approach to cleaning that aims to reduce or eliminate microbial contamination of all hard surfaces and non-critical equipment within the healthcare environment, may also be applied to non-healthcare settings, such as schools, offices, retail, hospitality, warehouses, fitness facilities, grocery stores, shopping centres, etc.6

Similar to practices implemented during normal flu seasons, it is important to ensure routine cleaning is being done when trying to stop the spread of mass communicable infections such as COVID-19.7

Surveys show that nearly all employees (86%) agree that disinfecting hard surfaces is one of the best ways to prevent germ transmission, and employers should make available and provide hand sanitizers and disinfecting wipes at employee workstations.8

Plan to prevent

Toronto Public Health has issued a COVID-19 factsheet for non-healthcare workplaces that recommends frequent cleaning and disinfecting of common areas and high-touch surfaces such as door handles, counters, cabinet doors, elevator buttons, light switches, faucets, toilet handles, hand rails, touch screen surfaces and keypads. Common areas should have soap, hand sanitizer and disinfectant.9 

In addition, the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, has issued comprehensive guidelines for various sectors of industry to help protect workers, customers and the general public from COVID-19:4,10

  • Adherence to infection prevention and control (IPAC) protocols;
  • Hand hygiene, including the use of alcohol-based hand rub and hand washing;
  • Assessment of the risk of infection transmission and the appropriate use of personal protective equipment, including correct selection, safe application, removal and disposal;
  • Disinfect all frequently touched surfaces daily including desks, cubbies, cafeteria tables, restroom stalls/stall doors, door handles, keyboards/mice, pencil sharpeners and sink fixtures;
  • Disinfect after routine cleaning is complete;
  • Remove any visible soil from the surface with a detergent-based cleaner before applying a disinfectant;
  • Disinfect surfaces from “clean” areas, such as classrooms, to “dirty” areas, such as restrooms, to minimize cross-contamination;

When disinfecting, ensure surfaces remain visibly wet for the contact time specified on the product label.

CloroxPro™ can help

The rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19 has triggered Public Health Agency of Canada’s (PHAC) Emerging Pathogen Policy. This policy permits manufacturers of disinfectants to make efficacy claims for its disinfectants against the emerging viral pathogen if:

  • The disinfectant has a Broad Spectrum Virucidal efficacy claim, meaning that it has a claim against anyone of the following four viruses approved by Health Canada: Poliovirus type 1, Chat strain (ATCC VR-1562) or Human adenovirus type 5 (ATCC VR-5) or Bovine parvovirus (ATCC VR-767) or Canine parvovirus (ATCC VR-2017)
  • Or, carry a specific claim against a specific coronavirus, such as MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV or human coronavirus strain 229E
  • Or, carry a specific claim against non-enveloped viruses of the picornaviridae, caliciviridae, astroviridae, reoviridae, or papillomaviridae families

The following CloroxProTM products are on Health Canada’s list of hard-surface disinfectants with evidence against COVID-19:

References: 

  1.  Diener A & Dugas J. Inequality-related economic burden of communicable diseases in Canada. Can Commun Dis Rep Suppl 2016;42:S1-S7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29770033/
  2.  Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion (Public Health Ontario), Provincial Infectious Diseases Advisory Committee. Best practices for prevention, surveillance and infection control management of novel respiratory infections in all health care settings. 1st revision. Toronto, ON: Queen’s Printer for Ontario; 2020. https://www.publichealthontario.ca/-/media/documents/B/2020/bp-novel-respiratory-infections.pdf?la=en
  3. These are the Calgary-area workplaces hit hardest by COVID-19 outbreaks. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/covid-list-workplace-outbreaks-ahs-calgary-asfd-1.5564639. Accessed May 11, 2020.
  4.  Resources to prevent COVID-19 in the workplace. May 8, 2020. https://www.ontario.ca/page/resources-prevent-covid-19-workplace. Accessed May 10, 2020.
  5. COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedure – Disinfection of Touchpoints. https://www.ccohs.ca/images/products/pandemiccovid19/pdf/std-op-proc-disinfection.pdf. Accessed May 10, 2020.
  6.  Gauthier J. “Hospital clean” versus “construction clean” – is there a difference? Can J Infect Control 2004;19(3):150-2.
  7. Cold and Flu Season. https://www.wsps.ca/Information-Resources/Topics/Cold-and-Flu-Season.aspx. Accessed May 10, 2020.
  8. Clorox Professional Products Company Survey. May 2015.
  9. Toronto Public Health Covid-19 Fact Sheet. https://www.toronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/8d59-Fact-Sheet_Novel-Coronavirus.pdf. Accessed May 10, 2020.
  10. Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion (Public Health Ontario), Provincial Infectious Diseases Advisory Committee. Best practices for environmental cleaning for prevention and control of infections in all health care settings. 3rd ed. Toronto, ON: Queen’s Printer for Ontario; 2018.  https://www.publichealthontario.ca/-/media/documents/B/2018/bp-environmental-cleaning.pdf