WHAT IS COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2?
According to the US CDC: the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV or COVID-19 and now SARS-CoV-2, is a new respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.
As of November 23rd, 2020, there are over 12 Million cases in the US with over 250K dead. The death rate continues to decrease as it has fallen from 2.30% to 2.09% for the US in the past month. Use this link for the most up to date information on statistics. US National Tracker
As of November 23rd, 2020, over 58 Million cases of COVID-19 have been reported worldwide with a little over 1.2M Deaths. The death rate is declining again over the past two weeks from 2.46% to 2.37% worldwide.
CURRENT U.S. SITUATION
CLICK HERE FOR CDC WEBSITE OF US CASES
COVID-19 updates for the US are best tracked through this link US National Tracker. Some schools have returned; others are still waiting to return, and some are closing again as the 2nd wave hits the US. Europe has had shutdowns again and the US is leaving the states to do as they need to. Some states are dialing back gatherings and non-essential business again, while some states remain open fully. Supply chains are holding steady for the moment. The Tri-State are and across the country, the number of COVID counts is rapidly rising as we are in our 2nd wave. This wave is already worst than the 1st wave as far as case count is concerned, however the death rate is much lower. Some states, like PA, have closed their state borders to non-essential travel for the holiday season in an effort to curb the rise in cases.
As of October 22nd, 2020, the FDA has approved a new treatment called Veklury. Click here for more information. It has been approved to be used in adults and children 12 and older who weigh 88 lbs or more. Veklury was approved by the FDA’s Fast Track system but is improving recovery rates for patients. As of November 2020, Moderna and Pzifer are also on the cusp of releasing a possible 95% effective vaccine. The biggest difference between the two are the temperature they need to keep before the vaccine is administered. Pfizer needs a -94 degree temperature and Moderna needs a standard refrigerator. Vaccine information.
HOW DO I PROTECT MYSELF AND MY FACILITY?
Social distancing, wearing a mask and/or gloves, sanitizing/disinfecting regularly, and doing as much from your home as possible are the best ways to keep personally safe, as well as limiting leaving your home. What about your facility, when it opens? Below is some helpful information along with our complete COVID Supply Catalog. We are always making changes to the catalog as more items become available. Please reach out to us if you are looking for something you don’t see.
The COVID-19 virus is generally transmitted through respiratory droplets. These can linger in the air for up to 3 hours or land on surfaces and can live for up to 9 days under ideal conditions. It is more contagious than the flu and less contagious then measles. The coronaviruses do not thrive in high heat and humidity so it is expected to continue to become less of an impact and may in some areas even become non-existent. It is expected to become a 1-2 punch with the flu come the fall so being prepared in the event life goes back to normal or a variation of normal is extremely important.
With that being said, it is actually more important to treat the air via HEPA filtration in the HVAC (with frequent filter changes). You can be most effective by the use of HEPA Air Scrubbers scattered around a facility in conjunction with equipment designed to eradicate the disease in the air or on surfaces called Hydroxyl Generators. This is the 1-2 punch for eliminating COVID-19 or any future mutations of coronavirus.
At bare minimum, the nurses’/doctor’s offices, hospitals, long term care facilities, schools and the like must be given high priority. Ideally there should be secondary rooms designed for anyone suspected of having flu and/or coronavirus like symptoms – cough, fever, nasal discharge, and aches/pains – to keep the spread down to a minimum. Once a person is known to have symptoms, they should be provided an N95 or KN95 mask in lieu of any other mask immediately. In these areas, having an Air Scrubber (approx. $1k) and a Hydroxyl Generator (approx.. $2k) should be a priority in all the facilities mentioned above.
Air Scrubbers are what you see scattered around hospitals, facilities battling mold, and anywhere you need to treat the air. They process a high volume of air through HEPA filters. The advantages of these units is it traps micro-organisms in HEPA filters. It is loud for a space where people need to talk, but we are in uncharted territory so finding a way to implement these 24/7 will be important.
Hydroxyl Generators – “Odorox” – (Odorox Full Catalog/Information) are machines taking ambient moisture particles and turning them into germ killing soldiers as it is drawn across a UV bulb. These particles are harmless to humans, but deadly to viruses, bacteria, mold, VOC’s, and odors. There are many uses for these machines including but not limited to: wrestling mats, locker rooms, fitness areas, doctor/nurse offices, long term care facilities, meat packing plants, and much more. It can also neutralize VOC’s from new carpeting, paints, floor coatings, and other building material gases. These are also too loud for areas where people need to talk, but can be put on timers to treat areas when unoccupied. Rutgers, Montclair State University, as well as numerous Board of Educations in NJ, including Brick, have implemented this technology successfully with both portable and mounted units.
When it comes to treating the surfaces and touch points throughout a facility, we first must recognize any area treated can be contaminated either from the respiratory droplets lingering in the air or by a person entering an area even minutes after being cleaned/disinfected.
From a day to day standpoint, we must clean and disinfect. Notice this is a 2 Step Process as dirt prevents disinfectants from performing. Regular training and monitoring is important to get the desired results consistently.
We recommend Envirox peroxide based All Purpose Cleaners (product information click here) (Green Seal Certified and Eco Logo Formulas available) as Step 1. It is safe for the employees to use and works very well. Using microfiber cloths/flat pads for daily cleaning is paramount. Microfiber has a charge in them to attract dirt/germs and small microscopic fingers to remove 98% of soils and germs alone. Small dedicated washing machines are best to clean microfiber, as it is important to continue to have clean tools in the custodian’s hands.
We recommend Brulin Brutabs (for product detail information click here) with microfiber products to disinfect for a variety of reasons. First, it easily kills hard germs like C-diff. Basic disinfectants known as quaternary ammonium compounds “Quats” – widely used because of its versatility and range of fragrances – won’t kill C-diff. Brutabs are strong, but safe, when it comes to germ killing. The safety of its active ingredient is the same used to stabilize chlorine in pools. There are a small percentage of people allergic to pool water and this would need to be addressed on a case by case basis. Germs have been known to adapt and become resistant to “Quat” disinfectants, but cannot adapt to Brutabs based on its scientific make up.
Electrostatic sprayers has revolutionized our industry and should be used with the disinfectants. These were originally developed for paints to get completed coverage, but in recent years it’s shown dramatic results in covering large amounts of area quickly and easily with the disinfectants. Positive charged particles can defy gravity and cling under/around surfaces to get complete coverage. (Watch a quick video)
If you need guidance or assistance in navigating COVID-19 when opening your facility, please reach out to us. We are here to help you.