Hygienic Cleaning to Combat Cold and Flu

by Lawton Brothers | Dec 12, 2022

According to the CDC, last year’s flu season sickened nine million people – an amount that is greater than the population of New York City. Each cold experienced by a working adult results in an average of 8.7 hours of lost work, leading to an estimated loss of economic productivity approaching $25 billion in the United States, annually. Given the high losses in productivity due to illness, it’s a great idea to revamp your cleaning routine to combat the cold and flu this season. 

Transmission of the Common Cold and Flu

Influenza and colds are mainly spread through water droplets and particles that are released when infected people cough, sneeze, or talk, and can travel up to 6 feet away. In addition, one can also become sick by touching objects that have been contaminated by an infected person, including light switches, doorknobs, and keyboards. Many strains of bacteria and viruses are infectious up to 24 hours after leaving a host and can survive for almost four days on uncleaned surfaces. 

Recommended Cleaning and Disinfection Practices

Routine cleaning can destroy many of the bacteria and viruses left behind by patrons and staff. On a daily basis, clean and disinfect objects that are frequently touched. Immediately clean surfaces that are visibly soiled with bodily fluids (urine, vomit, blood, etc.) and use personal protective equipment (PPE) in the process. The frequency of cleaning can be increased during outbreaks to help reduce infection rates. Always select an EPA-registered product that is labeled to kill the cold and flu, and follow all instructions and precautions listed. Use disinfectant wipes for electronics, including phones, keyboards, and desktops. 

Hand Hygiene

Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps toward stopping the spread of germs. Germs from unwashed hands can get into food and drinks or be transferred to other objects and people. It has been proven that handwashing reduces respiratory illness, like the flu and cold, by approximately 21% and takes only 20 seconds.

Your hands should be washed after touching the eyes, nose, or mouth (including after sneezing or coughing), after using the bathroom, before and after food prep, before you eat, and after touching items that are soiled. If clean water and soap are unavailable, use an alcohol-based sanitizer. Hand sanitizer can quickly reduce the number of microbes on hands, though it will not be as effective if hands are visibly dirty. 

Employer Precautions

Encourage sick employees to stay at home and provide resources for coworkers and staff to avoid contamination (i.e. gloves, masks). Ask employees to cover their coughs and sneezes, and wash their hands frequently. Discourage employees from sharing work tools and equipment like phones, desks, and writing utensils. If an outbreak occurs, follow CDC precautions and public health advice. 

Feeling Sick of Your Cleaning Routine?

At Lawton Brothers, we have a myriad of products and services to support your business and keep it gleaming with success. Give us a call today and let us help you revamp your current cleaning routine with a free cleaning audit at: 800.432.0813.

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