Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a ton of debate regarding COVID-19 transmission. How do you actually catch COVID? Can you really catch COVID by touching contaminated surfaces?
This debate has left many property owners lost and wondering how best to protect their guests, customers, and employees! Does this sound like you? In this article, we’re sharing everything you need to know about surface disinfection and whether it’s a good idea for your property.
Can COVID-19 Spread Through Contaminated Surfaces?
The short answer: Yes!
However, transmission via contaminated surfaces might not be as common as we all initially thought…
There’s no denying the fact that direct contact with an infected person is the primary mode of transmission for COVID-19. As far as property owners are concerned, there are a few ways to prevent this type of transmission on your property: (1) encouraging everyone on your property to wear a mask, and (2) encouraging physical distancing through floor and pavement markings.
But, what about your high-touch surfaces? Research shows that although contaminated surfaces are not the most common way that COVID-19 spreads, they CAN lead to infection in certain situations. When an infected person coughs, sneezes, speaks, or even breaths, their respiratory droplets can spray onto frequently touched surfaces. Because of this, the CDC says that indirect contact with a contaminated surface is a potential way to contract COVID-19.
So, even though contaminated high-touch surfaces are not the most likely cause of COVID-19 spreading, they still COULD cause your property visitors to catch COVID-19. As a property owner, it’s your job to keep the people on your property as safe as possible. Keep reading to find out how you can protect the people on your property from COVID-19 surface transmission!
Types of Locations with High-Touch Surfaces
The following types of properties and locations tend to be high-traffic areas. The more people who visit a particular property or location, the more likely the spread of COVID-19. This is true both through direct contact with an infected person and indirect contact through infected surfaces.
Here is a list of a few types of properties and locations most at risk of COVID-19 transmission:
- Grocery stores and restaurants
- Hospitals and walk-in clinics
- Warehouses and distribution centres
- Government buildings
- Shopping malls
- Playgrounds, parks, and common areas
Types of High-Touch Surfaces
Within high-traffic areas are high-touch surfaces. The following are some of the high-touch surfaces to be extra aware of when planning your disinfection routines. People are more likely to touch and use these surfaces often which makes them more likely to spread COVID-19.
- Shopping carts
- Doorways, door accessibility buttons, door handles, and doorknobs
- Light switches
- Desks, work surfaces, and counters
- Cash registers and card machines
- Elevator buttons
- Restaurant tables and chairs
These surfaces would need to be disinfected more often to protect your property visitors compared to other low-touch surfaces.
How Long Does COVID-19 Last on Surfaces?
Like many other viruses, the COVID-19 virus can stay alive on surfaces outside the body. Studies show that COVID-19 can survive on plastic and stainless steel for up to 3 days, and on cardboard for up to 24 hours.
Other viruses have been shown to also survive on surfaces. For example, cold and flu viruses can remain infectious on surfaces for 24-48 hours. This means that disinfecting high-touch surfaces will still be an important way to protect your visitors, even after the COVID-19 pandemic is over!
How Does COVID-19 Spread on Surfaces?
In order for COVID-19 to spread on surfaces, an infected person must sneeze or cough on a surface. Soon after, another person must touch the surface, pick up enough of the virus, and then touch their eyes, nose or mouth. This is why public health experts recommend frequent hand washing and avoiding touching your face! This also shows how surface transmission is possible, even if the odds of it happening are quite low.
The problem with someone touching an infected surface is that they could not only infect themselves, but also transfer the virus to other surfaces on your property! In high-traffic areas, each high-touch surface can be touched by many people. Each of these people will touch other surfaces on your property, potentially spreading the virus much further until all of your high-touch surfaces are contaminated.
Should You Disinfect Your Property?
So, maybe the risk of catching COVID-19 by touching an infected surface isn’t as high as we all once thought… BUT, should you still disinfect the high-touch surfaces on your property?
We think the answer is yes!
Here are two reasons you should disinfect your property:
1. Most People Expect Disinfection Protocols
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies, governments, and individuals started investing a lot of time and money into disinfection. Even though research has since shown a lower probability of COVID-19 spreading via surfaces, many property owners STILL invest in disinfecting efforts. Why? Because it makes people feel safe!
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of people stress and anxiety when visiting public spaces. People expect enhanced cleaning and sanitizing protocols because it helps them feel more comfortable when leaving their houses.
If you reduce the sanitizing and disinfecting efforts on your property, you will likely turn many customers away. Disinfecting is an important way to satisfy your visitors or customers throughout the pandemic.
2. It’s Better Safe Than Sorry!
As we discussed in this article, it’s still possible for COVID to spread via surfaces on your property. Committing to surface disinfecting shows that you are doing everything you can to protect your property visitors. Your efforts will help your customers and employees stay as safe as possible from COVID-19 AND other viruses!
How Often Should You Disinfect Your Property?
While there are no specific guidelines regarding disinfection frequency, the CDC still recommends that high-touch surfaces be disinfected on a regular basis. Your “regular basis” will depend on your specific property, the amount of traffic you get, and how often people are touching your high-touch surfaces.
To save money, you may choose to focus your disinfecting efforts on high-touch surfaces and disinfect other surfaces at a lower frequency. This will reduce the cost of maintaining a safe and clean environment for your visitors, customers, and staff.
EverLine Makes Surface Disinfection Simple!
When the pandemic struck, we wanted to do our part to help stop the spread of COVID-19. That’s why we adapted our line painting equipment for surface disinfecting purposes! These machines allow for a highly-concentrated application of disinfectants so disinfection can be completed during work hours.
At Everline, our experienced and dedicated crews can help you provide peace of mind to your customers and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. We can respond quickly and professionally to help you with your surface disinfection needs. Contact us today and let us help you stop the spread on your property!