The Covid-19 pandemic is a new challenge for our country, the likes of which have never been dealt with. Many businesses have closed for extended periods of time with staff and employees more fearful and aware of contamination potential than ever. It is important, as we begin to open back up, that we create and maintain a healthy, safe environment for those who frequent these facilities.
The first thing business facilities need during this period is to maintain the facility as if it were open. This seems far fetched as many buildings are simply not being utilized. While that means trash bags may not need to be emptied as regularly or paper towels in the restroom to be restocked, other issues can present themselves and need to be addressed before becoming a serious issue. One of those issues is humidity/airflow. In a normal functioning indoor environment, building occupants open doors to the facility regularly during coming and going. This creates air exchange throughout the property, bringing in new air from the outside and allowing stale indoor air out. With the closing of most buildings, this hasn’t happened so having a manager or owner open the doors or windows periodically in the facility for short periods of time will allow for this air exchange to continue.
During normal operation, HVAC systems are running full time, creating great airflow and filtration as well. With the closing of facilities, many of these systems have been shut off completely or not changed from the winter settings to the spring settings. Having less airflow and filtration can lead to high humidity and stale or contaminated air within a property. These issues can also lead to an expensive mold remediation as high humidity is a leading cause for mold contamination. Because of this, it is important that you maintain the proper settings and airflow for your area and facility during the shutdown.
The website www.backtoworksafely.org/ suggests having your HVAC system checked before re-opening your business. This is a great suggestion to ensure a new filter is in place and the system has been changed to the proper function for the time of year. These systems can often harbor mold, bacteria and other virus/pathogens even in non-pandemic times, so it is important to have your system service and cleaned as part of a successful re-opening plan.
Finally, disinfecting your facility, office, or store is very important. Wiping down common touch surfaces such as light switches, keyboards, door handles or pin pads is vital to remove potential health hazards. One of the major issues companies are dealing with during re-opening is employee comfort and safety. Many employees have been reluctant or fearful to come back to a work environment for fear of bringing the virus back home to their loved ones. Furthermore, the potential repercussions of having an employee get sick shortly after reopening can be a hurdle that most businesses, small or large, simply will not be able to recover from.
The most important thing to reopening is to have a well thought of plan. Make sure to take the time to ensure, not only the safety of your employees and your customers, but the longevity of your healthily operating business. For more information, please read more at www.backtoworksafely.org/ and at moldmedics.com/disinfection/commercial-disinfection/