Coronavirus: Prevention and Control for the Cleaning Industry
This information is current as of February 25, 2020
What is Coronavirus?
Coronavirus (CoV) refers to a family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). SARS-CoV-2, also known as 2019-nCoV or the Wuhan coronavirus, is a novel or new coronavirus that was first identified in humans in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.
While not common, coronaviruses can be zoonotic, meaning they can be transmitted between animals and people. This was the case with SARS-CoV, which was found to be transmitted from civet cats to humans, and MERS-CoV, which was found to be transmitted from dromedary camels to humans. While there is speculation that SARS-CoV-2 is also zoonotic, scientists are still unsure.
As of February 23, 2020, there are more than 70,000 confirmed cases worldwide, including over 2,000 fatalities, and the virus has been reported in dozens of countries. Health authorities are having difficulty discerning an accurate count since the numbers are constantly changing. Human-to-human transmission has also been confirmed.
ISSA and the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a division of ISSA, have issued a statement about the Wuhan coronavirus and will continue to monitor and provide updated information about the outbreak. The association is committed to providing our members and communities with resources on how to clean and disinfect spaces and how to reduce the risk to human health.
Training and Education Opportunities
GBAC is also holding hands-on training opportunities and webinars. You can register for upcoming events and sign up for e-mail updates to stay informed about the latest news of outbreaks and natural disasters.
- GBAC at Clean Buildings Expo: Bio-Remediation and Response Fundamentals
- Prepare, Respond, Recover | A GBAC Webinar on The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (ISSA members only)
GBAC Tip Sheets
In order to help the cleaning industry better prepare for and prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2, GBAC has designed a series of downloadable tip sheets
- Tip Sheet #3: Recommendations for Using Disinfectants for the Cleaning and Forensic Restoration Industry in Response to SARS-CoV-2 (Wuhan Coronavirus)
- Tip Sheet #2: GBAC Recommendations for Risk Assessment for the Cleaning and Forensic Restoration Industry in Response to 2019nCoV (Wuhan Coronavirus)
- Tip Sheet #1: GBAC Recommendations for Personal Protective Equipment for the Cleaning and Forensic Restoration Industry in Response to 2019nCoV (Wuhan Coronavirus)
You can help prevent yourself from getting and spreading the Wuhan coronavirus–and other respiratory illnesses–by following these steps:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. (Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives) Use 70% alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact such as kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or shirt sleeve, not your hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Situation Summary for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, Wuhan, China (CDC)
- Safety and Health Overview for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (OSHA)
- Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Situation Reports (WHO)
- Infection Prevention: A Good Clean Fight (ISSA)
- Emerging Viral Pathogen Guidance for Antimicrobial Pesticides (EPA)
- US Taking Steps to Combat Coronavirus Outbreak
- Money Laundering Is Not Just for Criminals
- Report Reveals Effective Cleaning Solution for Newly Named Coronavirus
- Texas Biohazard Cleaners Train for Coronavirus
- Robots Instrumental in Stopping the Spread of Coronavirus
- Special Training, Webinar of Biohazard Best Practices for the Wuhan Coronavirus
- The Risk of Infection Via Surfaces and the New Coronavirus
- How Training Protects from the Wuhan Coronavirus
- Coronavirus Patient Cases in the US Climb
- Coronavirus Spreads to US
GBAC Interview on Coronavirus: Preparation and Precautions
Patty Olinger, GBAC executive director, recently participated in nationwide radio interview in which she discussed the coronavirus crisis. Tune into the full interview or key highlights below.
WRVA Radio Full Interview| Feb 5, 2020
Cleaners are protectors of health
We have to be cautious
What are the symptoms?
Facemasks vs. Respirators
Is there a vaccine?
Surgical masks and their uses