As a result of the rapid and unsettling spread of COVID-19, Corvus Janitorial Systems – a national franchisor of office and workplace cleaning services – will be making an effort to pivot towards providing tips and best practices on how to ensure a safe, clean and sanitized home office area. Because so many Americans are working from home, obeying shelter-in-place requirements, all while doing their best to make America run, we aim to repurpose office and workspace cleaning and disinfecting tips to use in home offices and general home cleaning purposes.
In this post, we highlight often overlooked but critical TOUCHPOINTS that families and home office workers should ensure become a part of their cleaning regimes. Corvus of Little Rock and Northwest Arkansas teammate Justin Simmering shared his own insights on keeping the home office clean in this short video.
1. Refrigerator Doors
Now that we are all quarantined at home, we’re eating our meals at home, snacking and generally putting our hands on the home refrigerator far more than ever before. And yet how often do we wipe down and disinfect the refrigerator door handle? Stationing disinfecting wipes or some other visual queue by the refrigerator door handle is a great and effective way to remind yourself and members of your family to disinfect and clean frequently handled doors and handles.
2. Dumpster Handles or Trash Cans
You’ve done a great job disinfecting and cleaning the indoor parts of your home and the high touchpoints, but when we step outside do we get complacent or find a false sense of security? Essential services like trash collection are still operating, and every time your trash collector picks up or handles your refuse, he or she might be leaving germs or worse behind. Make a habit of disinfecting and sanitizing the lids and handles of trash bins.
3. Car Door Handles and Steering Wheel
This is an often-overlooked touchpoint; however, it is a critical one to address during the coronavirus pandemic. Whether you are under state, county, or city-mandated shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders, or simply practicing your own social distancing measures, individuals and families still need essential items that require a ride in the car. High traffic locations such as grocery stores and gas stations can potentially carry the virus. Because of this, it is imperative to clean and disinfect your car door handles as well as your steering wheel. Doing so can help prevent the virus from entering your household from outside sources and keep your family safe.
4. Remotes, Gadgets, Chargers, and Toys
With a majority of Americans staying home, devices are being used at a rate never seen before. From binge-watching Netflix to tuning into daily state and national briefings to video chatting with friends and coworkers on our cellphones, we are more attached to our electronics and toys than ever before. Due to this, keeping frequently touched items in our homes germ-free is more important than ever. Make it part of your daily cleaning routine to wipe down and disinfect any TV remotes, game console controllers, chargers, cellphones, children’s toys, and any other devices or objects that are being frequently handled in the home.
5. Light Switches, Keys Doorknobs, and Door Handles
These specific touchpoints are unavoidable in daily life at home. Therefore, they require cleaning and disinfecting on a consistent and frequent cadence. If you can, avoid directly touching these surfaces. Use a sleeve, a napkin, or another method to create a barrier between your skin and the touchpoint you are interacting with. Even if all direct skin contact can be avoided, you should still frequently clean and disinfect these touchpoints as a precautionary action.
6. Computers, Keyboards, and Mouse
With many people working from home, either for their job or for school, home desktops and laptops are critical to the continued productivity of our society during this prolonged period of shelter-in-place. With that said, make sure that you are routinely wiping down and disinfecting your keyboard, mouse, and computer screen.
Disinfecting and Cleaning Protocols
It is important to highlight the difference between general cleaning and disinfecting. During a general clean the intent is to remove dirt and dust. This step must be completed before disinfection because germs can lurk in grime and soiled areas. Once an area is clean, it can then be disinfected. Typically, disinfecting happens only in restrooms and dining areas, but with COVID-19, disinfection of all areas using EPA approved commercial-grade chemicals is a critical factor in helping to curb the spread of the virus in our communities. The EPA recently released List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2, which can be found here.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of all the critical touchpoints in your home. However, we believe it is a good starting point for individuals and families looking to ensure their homes are clean and safe during the novel coronavirus pandemic. For more information and resources relating to COVID-19, visit our coronavirus response page here.
This piece is meant simply to inform, not to provide any legal or medical advice.