What you can do to prevent the spread of COVID-19
Businesses, schools, hotels, airlines — everyone is looking for a way to get back to a sense of normalcy in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. But what measures will it take to keep doors open and infection rates low? An evolution in cleaning and disinfecting protocols might be a piece of that puzzle.
What is COVID-19?
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19 for short) is a new, infectious respiratory disease that can cause mild to severe symptoms and even death. The most common symptoms a person with COVID-19 may experience include:
- Loss of taste or smell
- Muscle or body aches
- Sore throat
Some people infected with COVID-19 might not experience any of these symptoms at all. And if you are an older adult or have any specific underlying conditions, you may experience symptoms on a more severe level. Additionally, if you experience trouble breathing, chest pain or pressure, or have difficulty staying awake, you should seek medical attention immediately.
How does COVID-19 spread?
The main source of transmission of COVID-19 is believed to be through the exchange of respiratory droplets — caused by coughing, sneezing, talking or breathing — as a result of close, person-to-person contact. The CDC states that how easily the virus spreads from person to person can vary and that it appears to spread more efficiently than the influenza (flu) virus. Perhaps a more shocking fact is that COVID-19 can also be spread by people who do not have any symptoms, which is why it’s important to take the proper precautions to promote the health and safety of those around you (see next section).
An additional way COVID-19 can spread is through airborne transmission. However, current research only supports airborne transmission in enclosed spaces with poor ventilation. For example, if someone with COVID-19 was to breathe heavily into the air for an extended period of time in a small space and then another person entered the same space after the first person had left, they could become infected by breathing in the airborne droplets left behind.
Surface spread can also happen. Therefore, it is considered best practice to disinfect surfaces on a regular basis to help mitigate any risk of spreading disease.
How to prevent the spread of infection
The most effective way to prevent contracting COVID-19 is to avoid being exposed to the virus. To do that, there are a few steps that you can take:
- Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others whenever possible.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when out in public or around others that you do not share a living space with.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol when washing is not an option.
- Avoid crowded indoor spaces and ensure indoor spaces are properly ventilated by bringing in outdoor air as much as possible. In general, being outdoors and in spaces with good ventilation reduces the risk of exposure to infectious respiratory droplets.
- Avoid crowds to limit the number of people you come in contact with.
- Avoid poorly ventilated spaces, open up windows and door to let in fresh air, or stick to the outdoors when possible.
- Stay home and away from others if you are sick.
- Establish a regular cleaning and disinfecting routine.
How to properly disinfect your space
When disinfecting surfaces to prevent the spread of viruses like COVID-19 within your space or business, additional precautions need to be taken to minimize cross contamination and maximize the effectiveness of your chosen disinfectant. To ensure that the virus is killed, the disinfectant needs to completely coat and sit wet on a surface for the amount of time specified on the chemical’s label before it is dried or wiped away. This is known as the “dwell time.” If the disinfectant is wiped away before the specified dwell time, then you run the risk of spreading live viral particles to other surfaces as you wipe.
Additionally, the more frequently a surface is touched by people, the more often it should be disinfected with a disinfecting chemical approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The CDC recommends that high-touch surfaces — like door handles, faucets, counter tops and railings — should be cleaned and disinfected at least one per day.
Disinfecting with electrostatic sprayers
When you are dealing with the disinfection of large spaces or oddly-shaped surface areas, electrostatic sprayers can be a fast and effective way to evenly distribute disinfecting chemicals. Electrostatic spray technology works by positively charging the particles of the disinfectant you are using so that they seek out and stick to the negatively charged surfaces you are spraying. The positively-charged particles also repel each other like magnets — spreading out evenly across the sprayed surface, wrapping around curves and reaching into corners and crevices. This allows you to get complete, top-to-bottom coverage of a surface with little effort.
Electrostatic spraying is also a touchless disinfection method, which dramatically decreases the risk of cross contamination that you often run into with spray-and-wipe methods. Additionally, specific spray nozzles — like Victory Innovations’ 3-in-1 nozzle — can help dispense disinfectants at the appropriate micron level (droplet size) to ensure that its dry time adheres to the required dwell time of your chosen disinfectant. All of these benefits can help you achieve full-coverage disinfection against COVID-19 as well as other disease-causing contaminates.
To learn more about how electrostatic sprayers can help you prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses at your business or facility, you can request a virtual demo or download our Redefining the Science of Clean Beginner’s Guide.