Prepare for Flu Season with ISSA and GBAC

December 17, 2019 Prepare for Flu Season with ISSA and GBAC

As the number of flu deaths is already at 13,000 this season, according to the latest report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), proper cleaning and disinfection of facilities is key.

CDC experts say the 2019-2020 flu season started early this year, promising one of the deadliest seasons in recent years.

“The CDC has indicated that as many as 2.5 million people have been infected,” said Dr. Gavin Macgregor-Skinner, BVSc, MSc, MPH, MRCVS, a board member and infectious disease expert instructor with the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a division of ISSA. “With the earliest start to flu season in more than 15 years, we need to be proactive in our approach to protecting people.”

Macgregor-Skinner has worked with national and international governments to prepare and respond to infection control issues, such as those that involve influenza. Most recently, he was involved in training a group of Reuters journalists at ISSA headquarters.

Macgregor-Skinner warns cleaning professionals of their responsibility to those in their care. “They need to be aware of the ISSA perspective on what a ‘deep clean’ really is,” he said. “A simple wiping down of surfaces in schools, for example, is just not enough.”

He points cleaning professionals to the ISSA Clean Standards. There are two available, one for K-12 facilities, and another for institutional and commercial facilities. Both can be accessed on the ISSA Clean Standards website. The Standards are available at no cost to members of ISSA. Use this link to become a member so you can access the standards.

GBAC understands the challenges cleaning professionals face with their work each day and offers the following as a guideline for what cleaning really means for facilities.

Interim cleaning: This is your daily cleaning. You are removing soil, odors, and reducing the bio-load. GBAC’s “Fundamentals Training” program begins here, building on current cleaning practices but learning new techniques, tools, and equipment to a recognized cleaning for health protocol.

Corrective cleaning: This is the cleaning after an event, which could be simple or complex. All cleaning professionals are asked to do this, considering bathrooms, hotel rooms, or an event when someone had a bloody nose or has vomited. GBAC’s “Fundamentals Training” program covers this as well.

GBAC Forensic Cleaning®: This is the removal of biological contaminants, both visible and invisible, to prepare surfaces both vertical and horizonal for professional disinfecting. This is intense training, GBAC Forensic Operator Training, that involves learning how to handle crime scenes, unattended death scenes, hoarding situations, situations involving highly infectious agents, and more.

Don’t miss the GBAC Bio-Remediation and Response Fundamentals Course on January 22 at ISSA headquarters in Northbrook, Illinois. This workshop will highlight procedures for minimizing the impact of the flu involving facilities.

Check out all the upcoming GBAC events including specialized training workshops available for educational facilities, institutions, and commercial buildings, concentrating on deep cleaning and infection control.