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Facts, strategies and insight from professionals on pandemic planning

The recent outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) strain is on the verge of causing mass panic.  It is times like this, more than ever, that we should take the expert's council seriously and confidently and not devolve into acting on our panic and fear instincts.

The strategies, activities, and habits devised and suggested by the experts in pandemic planning will be what stops the spread of this virus, as well as what gives you, and all for whom you are responsible, the lowest probability of contraction, and highest probability of recovery in case of contraction.




It should be noted that the death rate is considered by many experts to be skewed towards the high end, as these numbers represent only tested individuals, and do not include unreported cases that had symptoms of common flu, common cold, or were asymptomatic, and in which individuals recovered (2)

Since contraction rates are not necessarily proportionate to age or gender by population, these percentages represent only the death rate in that particular group, not their death rate as a percentage of the population as a whole (1)

Coronavirus Death Rates.JPG
Coronavirus Death Rates by Gender.JPG



  • Airborne respiratory droplets

  • Skin to skin contact

  • Exposure to a contaminated surface*

  • Through saliva

*Contaminated surfaces are most often found at high touch points, such as doorknobs, faucets, handles, light switches, toilets, etc.  Anywhere people are likely to make contact with often as they move through a building.

Common Symptoms of COVID-19 (6)

  • Fever

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath

Seek medical attention if you

  • Develop these symptoms AND

  • Have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or live in or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19. Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room. Tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.


Being Prepared for the Future


Every cleaning plan should be built around the assumption that on any given day 10% of the people in the building are contagious with something.

Infection control, although it peaks at certain times, is a year round responsibility.  The internal questions our customers should be able to answer are; what are the daily cleaning procedures, do we have a reasonable inventory, what are we measuring to know when and where we need to deploy a heightened response?

customers who have worked with us through the ALIGNMENT PROCESS, building out a program of DOCUMENTED PROCESSES, RELEVENT EDUCATION, MINIMIZED CHEMISTRY, APPROPRIATE AUTOMATION and CONSISTENT MEASUREMENT all report that they are weathering the situation.

 -Mark McFarland, Pur-O-Zone Regional Manager

Cleaning During an Outbreak (5)

Cleaning staff are the primary line of defense against outbreaks on a large scale.  Therefore, it is very important for cleaning staff to lead the way in safety procedures, as they are in these high traffic areas.

Preventative methods for cleaning staff

  • Cover nose and mouth during coughing and sneeze with a tissue, immediately disposing of any potentially contagious materials

  • Wash hands as often using soap and disinfectant

  • Avoid touching face, nose, and mouth

  • Any cleaning staff who are sick should stay home

  • Any cleaning staff who are ill in public places should wear a disposable mask (the CDC does not recommend masks for individuals who are not ill)

  • Wider use of gloves among cleaning staff is recommended

  • Ensure restrooms always have available paper towels

  • Ensure trash cans have liners, and that liners with soiled tissue are removed often

  • Ensure hand sanitizer is available to all employees at the workplace

  • Change mop bucket water more frequently during mopping

There are common questions and misconceptions regarding the different categories of products used in contamination cleaning.  In such cases, reference the chart below.


3 Step cleaning method during an outbreak

  1. Clean surfaces with low residue cleaner

  2. Use an EPA registered sanitizer or disinfectant.  A full list of EPA approved antimicrobial products can be found here (virucides should be used to kill specific viruses, specified by the product).

  3. Allow sanitizers and disinfectants to stay on the surface for the amount of time specified on the label for maximum effectiveness

If dirt and debris are not cleaned first, the disinfectant will not get to the surface to kill the pathogens, and remaining soil can provide a habitat for pathogens to thrive in.

Watch the entire Envirox webinar on Covid-19 below.

Preventing General Contraction (4)

On the individual level, common sense measures to prevent contraction will go a long way in preventing further spread and impact of the novel Coronavirus, most of which revolve around preventing exposure to infected fluids entering your body.  Below are the CDC guidelines on preventing contraction for the general public.

  • Avoid contact with sick individuals and objects they have interacted with.  Viruses can survive for hours after leaving the host.  They survive longest on steel and hard surfaces, and shortest on cloth and rough surfaces.

  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth, as these are the prime points of entry for viruses into the body.

  • Stay home when you are sick.

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.

    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.​

    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to  others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

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