Many businesses have stepped up their Houston office cleaning game since the beginning of the pandemic. However, with more variants emerging, it’s important to continue your efforts to help reduce the risk of transmission. The Omicron variant is the dominant COVID-19 variant in the U.S. right now and many people have fallen ill. In this article, we will discuss some of the research around Omicron, cleaning, and things you can do to help keep your office safe.
What to Know About Houston Office Cleaning and Omicron Variant
It’s important to understand what you’re dealing with for Omicron. Experts are still studying this variant of the COVID-19 virus. However, some evidence suggests that this variant may be more contagious than previous variants. It may also have higher rates of re-infection. Therefore, your workplace may be at risk for the Omicron variant. Some believe that the illness from this virus may be more mild than previous variants. Yet, many people are still experiencing severe illness and complications while hospitals across the country continue to be overwhelmed.
Like previous variants, Omicron can spread through infected respiratory droplets, either through direct contact or in the air. COVID can also spread through surfaces contaminated with the virus, such as if you touch an infected surface and then touch your eyes or mouth. Compared to airborne and direct transmission, surface transmission is considered relatively low, though still possible. Fortunately, there are several simple things you can do to help reduce the risk of surface transmission.
There are many recommendations regarding how to keep your office safe from Omicron. Many businesses have gone back to a remote work environment to help reduce the spread. Some things you can do include encouraging hand washing, increasing Houston office cleaning in your facility, and also asking people to stay home if they feel unwell. Regular cleaning may help combat the virus. According to research, Omicron may live longer on certain surfaces. In addition, many workers across the country are demanding better cleaning for office hygiene.
Omicron May Live Longer on Surfaces: You May Need More Frequent Houston Office Cleaning
Emerging research shows that the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus lives longer on on plastic and skin. According to Medical News Today, a recent study looked at how long Omicron can live on hard plastic surfaces and on the skin. The researchers found that it lasts much longer than previous variants. In the study, the Omicron variant lived for approximately 200 hours on plastic and 21 hours on the skin. For reference, the original virus survived for just 56 hours on plastic and 8.6 hours on skin. That is a 357% increase in survival length for plastic surfaces and a 244% increase for skin.
The researchers suggested that, because the variant may live much longer on plastic and skin, this may increase the risk of spreading through touch and infected surfaces. With this in mind, many offices are increasing the frequency of their Houston commercial cleaning services for Omicron.
Surface Transmission is Possible with COVID-19: The CDC Recommends Houston Office Cleaning at Least Once a Day
According to the CDC, COVID-19 may spread through surfaces. While the risk is considered low compared to other methods of transmission, it is possible to infect, say, a desk in your office and have someone contract the illness from touching that desk. It’s unclear how many people have been infected by contaminated surfaces, though there are suspected cases. Houston office cleaning and disinfection services can help reduce the risk of surface transmission in your facility.
The CDC currently recommends daily cleaning during the pandemic. According to the CDC, “routine cleaning performed effectively with soap or detergent, at least once per day, can substantially reduce virus levels on surfaces.” Therefore, most offices are investing in daily Houston office cleaning to help keep their staff and customers healthy.
In addition to daily general cleaning in your office, the CDC also recommends more frequent Houston office cleaning in certain circumstances. For instance, in areas with poor ventilation and lack of hand washing or hand sanitizing opportunities, you may need more frequent cleaning to help reduce the risk of Omicron infection. Also, if there is a confirmed or suspected COVID case in your office within the last 24 hours, they recommend avoiding the area for as long as possible and disinfecting surfaces with EPA approved List N disinfectants to help kill the virus.
Houston Commercial Cleaning Services Can Help Inactivate Omicron and Other Variants
Research shows that cleaning and disinfection can help deactivate, damage, or kill the current COVID-19 variants. Therefore, there are several Houston janitorial services that can help you control the virus in your office. Regular cleaning can actually damage the virus membrane. Cleaning can also help remove the virus from the surface.
The goal of disinfection is to kill germs on a surface. To kill Omicron on surfaces, the EPA currently recommends using List N disinfectants. These are products the EPA expects will kill COVID-19 and its variants. It’s key to work with Houston office cleaning experts for disinfection services, however, as proper disinfection involves following the label exactly. This includes proper dilution and keeping the surface wet with the disinfectant for the recommended dwell time. Using disinfectants incorrectly can mean the disinfectant will not work as intended to kill the virus.
People Want More Frequent and Visible Houston Office Cleaning
Another thing to consider when looking at cleaning for Omicron is what your employees and the public expect. Many people now expect facilities to increase cleaning and disinfection frequency to show they are committed to fighting the virus.
For example, a recent study shows that 66% of employees want better workplace cleaning protocols. This research comes from a recent survey about people’s opinions on COVID in the workplace. From this study by the Cleaning Coalition of America, we learned that people have come to expect more regular and better quality cleaning in the office. About 43% of the participants stated they still feel worried about returning to work due to the COVID pandemic. Yet, cleaning may help them feel more comfortable For instance, 89.9% of the people surveyed said workplace cleaning was important. Also, 62% said that simply seeing cleaning professionals in the workplace would help them feel safer and more comfortable.
With current COVID-19 numbers as well as the labor shortages across the country, many businesses are looking for ways to improve employee relations and encourage employee retention. This study suggests more frequent cleaning may go a long way helping people feel better, not only regarding COVID, but perhaps for their general health and hygiene.
Which Houston Janitorial Services Do You Need to Fight Omicron?
You might be wondering exactly which Houston office cleaning services you need for Omicron. While we’re sure everyone would like a simple, straightforward, one-size-fits-all solution, there simply isn’t. Designing a COVID cleaning protocol depends on your facility. Our team can help you go over the risks, your needs, and your budget to create a cleaning and disinfection schedule customized to your office. However, some common services many offices in Houston and Beaumont are choosing include daily cleaning as well as disinfection of high touch surfaces.
Accredited Building Services is Here to Help Keep Your Facility Clean, Sanitary, and Healthy
Regular cleaning is even more important as more COVID-19 variants, like Omicron, emerge. Our team at Accredited Building Services is here to help you clean, sanitize, and disinfect your building for health, office hygiene, professionalism, and safety. We offer professional commercial cleaning services throughout Houston and Beaumont. We have been helping people keep their industrial and commercial facilities clean since 1980 and every professional on our team receives comprehensive training. You can trust us to provide high quality cleaning and disinfection services every time. Get in touch today to get a quote for your janitorial needs.