The first case of COVID-19 was reported in Wuhan, China on December 31st, 2019. At that time, the case was considered a pneumonia of unknown cause. Fast forward to March 11th, 2020, the virus was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization as over 118,000 cases rapidly moved across 114 countries. At the time of this writing, there are over 410,000 known COVID-19 cases worldwide. 

These are uncertain times as the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention work around the clock to slow the spread. They have put forth recommendations for individuals and businesses to help reduce exposure and lower the infection rate. You can read about the CDC’s recommendations here.

State-wide restrictions, postponed events, and complete cancellations are affecting the entire country. In Iowa, Governor Reynolds continues to hold press conferences to provide updates on the progression of the spread and how the state is responding. Now is an opportune time to do a deep cleaning and disinfecting of your business due to a suspension of operation or with most employees working from home.

ServiceMaster by Rice is focused on cleaning, disinfection, and decontamination to help your business. The future is unknown, but we are ready to take every precaution necessary to protect your business and customers during this unprecedented time. 

Professional Preventative Cleaning & Disinfecting For COVID-19

ServiceMaster by Rice offers preventative cleaning for businesses across Iowa during the COVID-19 outbreak. Our services include cleaning all horizontal surfaces up to 6’, cleaning high touch point areas, and fogging with a disinfectant. The goal is to eliminate exposure for employees and customers as they return to the office or work environment as social distancing measures are loosened.

Professional Cleaning For Suspected and Confirmed COVID-19 Cases

If there is a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 at your business, there is no time to waste when it comes to professional cleaning and disinfecting. Keep your employees and future customers safe with a professional cleaning from ServiceMaster by Rice. For suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases, we will clean vertical surfaces up to 10’, all horizontal surfaces, high-touch points, and fog with a disinfectant.

How Does COVID-19 spread?

COVID-19 primarily spreads by respiratory droplets from coughing and sneezing. It’s easy to think, “I don’t get coughed or sneezed on all that often.” An unprotected cough or sneeze will travel through the air and remain on a surface for a period of time. By touching a contaminated surface and then touching your face, you can become a host of the virus.

Anyone can be a carrier of the virus without showing the symptoms – fever, dry cough, and difficulty breathing. As a carrier, you can transmit the virus to others without ever knowing. 

Researchers state that a person with COVID-19 can infect 2-3 people, on average. If an infected person passes the virus to three people and those three pass the virus to three more, and this happens ten times over, that a single infected person can be responsible for up to 59,000 more infections. This is a staggering number and should bring context to the importance of you playing your part to help stop the spread. 

What Can You Do To Help Prevent The Spread?

If you’ve heard the recommendations once, you’ve heard them a thousand times – wash your hands, cover your cough, and practice social distancing. While the United States is still in the early growth projection of the pandemic, following these procedures is highly important to flatten the curve.

Wash Your Hands

We’re not talking about getting your hands wet. We are talking about a good scrub with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. The key is to be sure you wash every finger, knuckle, and crease on your hands. 

Cover Your Cough And Sneeze

The CDC recommends covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue or upper sleeve. After a cough or a sneeze, you should wash your hands in an effort to stop the spread of germs.

Practice Social Distancing

Simply put, social distancing is keeping 6 feet between you and others. The CDC recommends avoiding groups of 10 or more. The infection rate and number of infections can be drastically reduced by practicing social distancing. Even if you feel healthy, social distancing plays a significant role in stopping the spread of COVID-19. Don’t forget, you can carry the virus without showing any symptoms.

Clean or Disinfect Your Home

You can take cleaning and disinfecting into your own hands to keep your home and family protected. It is important to recognize the difference between cleaning and disinfecting.

Cleaning will remove germs, dirt, and impurities but it does not kill germs. Cleaning does help reduce the risk of spreading infection, but cannot kill the germs responsible for the infection.

Disinfecting uses chemicals to kill the germs found on surfaces. It’s a good practice to clean first, then use disinfecting chemicals to eliminate the germs from horizontal and high-touch point surfaces.

A study found that the virus can last for up to 72 hours on stainless steel and plastic, up to 24 hours on cardboard, up to 4 hours on copper, and 3 hours in aerosols. You may want to clean horizontal surfaces and high-touch daily or several times per week. 

Preparing For A Future Crisis

While Iowa has a low number of COVID-19 cases compared to other states, we are still severely impacted by the restrictions and closings happening in our state and beyond. Governments, businesses, communities, and families are responding as changes seem to come on a daily basis to fight the coronavirus. The best responses don’t happen as a reaction to change, but from thoughtful preparation long before a crisis hits. 

It’s evident that having alternative working arrangements, assuring payroll is covered, and focusing on employee health and safety are all important aspects of planning for a crisis. There will need to be HR policies in place, education for all employees, and communication with suppliers. Establishing immediate and ongoing disinfecting plans is important for the well-being of employees and customers.

You can learn how to best respond to COVID-19 or contact us for help developing a plan specific to your business. This comprehensive pandemic planning guide is also a good resource to be sure you have all the boxes checked as you plan for the future.

A global pandemic is not the only crisis that requires a plan. Emergencies such as floods, fires, and trauma require preparation as well. Don’t hesitate to contact the ServiceMaster by Rice team in Des Moines for assistance in getting a plan in place for your company.

Professional Disinfecting and Cleaning Services Throughout Iowa & Southern Minnesota

ServiceMaster by Rice is ready to go to work for you. We know how challenging these times are and want to be sure your space is as safe and clean as possible as we fight together through COVID-19. We have a dedicated team of IICRC certified professionals in Des Moines, throughout Iowa, and in Southern Minnesota. Our phones are on 24/7 to respond to your emergency needs. Find an office near you to schedule service.

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