Non-essential businesses are in the process of cautiously opening their doors, and a few states are already open for business. In the upcoming weeks and months, with more and more people flooding the streets, all preventative measures should be taken by your facilities to prevent the contraction and transmission of COVID-19 from outside sources.
Especially as a provider for potentially immunocompromised individuals, now is the time to start prepping your facility and organizing a plan of attack for how you will keep your employees and residents safe while COVID-19 is still at large. Your facility has likely been practicing social distancing and other protocols for the past several weeks, so it’s essential that you have a plan in place to continue this strategy as communities and businesses start to reopen. From deep cleaning to sanitizing and even future routine cleaning, there are countless steps you can take to minimize the effects of Coronavirus on your assisted living facility and keep it up to CDC standards.
1. Deep clean each room and living area.
Every guest room and living area should be deep cleaned before use. Then, routine deep-cleaning should be employed for the upcoming weeks and months. Wipe down and sanitize all surfaces. Change sheets, linens, towels, and all other textiles. Steam-clean and sanitize carpets, mop floors, and sanitize them properly. No surface should go untouched, and all rooms should be fresh, sparkling, and ready for residents to enjoy safely.
2. Thoroughly clean each surface after use.
Taking preventative measures throughout the day will make a difference in how effective your cleaning routine ultimately is. Be sure to enforce hand-washing, hand sanitizing, and wiping down surfaces after each and every use. The key to preventing bacteria from spreading is to never allow them a place to thrive in the first place. Wipe down any contaminated surface or object, sanitize, and allow it to thoroughly air dry before the next use.
3. Bring in a sanitation specialist.
Monitoring, sanitizing, and cleaning your facility every day can be a hefty task to manage on your own. Hiring an On-Site Sanitation Specialist is a great way to have an expert readily available to keep your facility clean and germ-free. They have the expertise, training, and experience to handle all potential COVID-19 contaminants and reduce your risk of contamination.
4. Post flyers of cleaning protocols & steps you’re taking.
Make your team, residents, and guests aware of all you are doing, and all they can do to keep themselves safe. Post flyers and signs with hand-washing techniques and sanitation precautions. Maintain full transparency about cleaning routines and procedures that are going on behind the scenes in your building. Provide them with the contact information of your On-Site Sanitation Specialist in case they notice any debris that might be harmful to their safety.
5. Provide protective equipment for your employees, cleaning team, and residents.
In order to show your cleaning and medical team what you’re doing to keep them safe, be sure to have masks, gloves, protective clothing, and other PPE in stock. Additionally, considering the independence of your residents, providing them with protective equipment to allow them to live lives as “normal” is a must.
In order to reduce the risk of COVID-19 bacteria entering or spreading throughout your facility, every person within the building should be practicing social distancing and have the proper equipment on at all times.
6. Limit the number of guests.
With COVID-19 still a threat to immunocompromised and healthy individuals alike, limiting the amount of traffic through your building will go a long way in keeping everyone safe.
Sometimes, a guest has to visit. If this is the case, social distancing should be strictly enforced. Given that there are many other residents in your facility, one misstep could cost you the health of everyone. Try to limit exposure of this guest to other residents, and be sure to provide them with copious amounts of hand sanitizer and disinfectant. All members of the visit should have a mask, gloves, and protective clothing on.
7. Continue to Enforce Social Distancing with Special Protocols.
There should be a separate room for guest visits to prevent unnecessary exposure. Alternatively, assembling the meeting outside is a good option where social distancing can be followed without impacting the health of all other residents. Make a very clear and concise plan for social distancing and post it everywhere for all employees, guests, and residents to see. Properly educate your staff on these protocols and rules so that they can enforce them with residents and guests.
8. Consistently provide hand sanitizer and disinfectants.
In addition to personal protective equipment, a great preventative measure to take is enforcing the use of hand sanitizer and disinfectants frequently. Provide these in copious amounts to employees, residents, and guests to eliminate any potential contaminants and prevent the spread of dangerous bacteria.
9. Clean & sanitize high-touch, high-traffic areas.
Doorknobs, counters, railings, countertops, and all other high-touch, high-traffic areas should be wiped down and properly sanitized as frequently as possible. Many people might touch the same surface throughout the day—be sure it’s always clean, sanitized, and safe.
10. Sanitize & clean bathrooms.
It goes without saying that all bathrooms are a breeding ground for bacteria. These spaces should be deep-cleaned and sanitized daily or even more frequently depending on how many people are in your building. Wipe down and sanitize sinks, toilets, rails, showers, countertops, and cabinets to reduce lingering bacteria. Wash and sanitize floors, and allow them to fully dry before use. All towels, curtains, and linens should be washed and sanitized daily using a hotter-than-normal water setting.
11. Wash uniforms and clothing regularly.
Your team likely assists many residents throughout the day. Their uniforms and clothing should be washed as frequently as possible to prevent any bacteria from spreading from one resident to the next. Resident clothing should be washed and sanitized daily to prevent tracked-in bacteria from outside or other guests being transmitted. All uniforms, clothing, cloth masks, and any other protective clothing should be properly washed and sanitized daily to reduce their risk of COVID-19.
12. Clean & sanitize flooring & carpets.
As employees, guests, and residents walk through your building, they may be tracking around harmful bacteria. Especially if they are going outside frequently, outside contaminants can slowly begin to creep in and hide within the fibers of your carpets. Be sure to deep clean flooring and carpets, vacuum regularly, and sanitize often.
13. Clean air vents.
Given the fact that COVID-19 is spread by water particulates from our mouths, it’s important to maintain air vents throughout the building. Even without a pandemic, your air vents are typically full of thriving bacteria that you may not even know about. In order to reduce the amount of bacteria in these areas and prevent the breeding of COVID-19 bacteria, air vents should be properly cleaned and sanitized weekly or monthly. Air filters should be replaced regularly.
14. Use environmentally-safe and non-toxic cleaning supplies.
While you want a nice, deep clean, you don’t need to sacrifice the health of your organization to do so. Be sure to hire a cleaning team that utilizes environmentally-friendly cleaning products that won’t affect the health of your residents or employees. There are various COVID-19-eliminating cleaners on the market that will leave your facility sparkling.
Worried about the cleanliness of your assisted living facility? Integrity Services is here to help you maintain cleanliness and sanitation while keeping clients safe, healthy, and happy. No matter your needs and budget, we have the expertise to handle anything from deep cleaning to routine sanitation and everything in between.
Ready to get your facility back into shape? Contact us with the form at the top of this page, email us at [email protected] or give us a call at 877-663-6766.