Return to Work | Frequently Asked Questions

Returning to the workplace after the imposed “safe shelter” requirements involves a mix of
planning and logistics—all backed by clear communications

Here are some FAQs and guidance that may make your planning easier and more focused.

  1. 1. Should we disinfect an area/suite/building before tenants return to work? –
    • If you have retained janitorial services inside a suite, CCS has been disinfecting high-touchpoints and non-porous surfaces using a disinfectant daily/nightly as a part of our normal services.
    • If you have a suite or office that has been vacant, we recommend conducting disinfection prior to bringing that area back online for occupants to enter.
    • CCS offers additional disinfecting for full building, common areas, or tenant-specific spaces that utilizes electrostatic spraying technology. This technology allows us to get all surfaces in an area with significantly better coverage than traditional spray and wiping.  This is not required, but is available at an additional charge if you  elect to have greater peace of mind before allowing employees and staff to reoccupy an area.

    2. What products will the janitorial staff use daily to disinfect surfaces?

    • If you have retained janitorial services inside a suite, CCS has been disinfecting high-touchpoints and non-porous surfaces using a disinfectant daily/nightly as a part of our normal services.
    • CCS may utilize, in limited situations, at an additional cost, either a Victory Electrostatic Sprayer or a Clorox 360 Electrostatic Sprayer. We will use HDQ Neutral Disinfectant as listed above, or Clorox 360 Disinfectant Cleaner (EPA #67619-38).  Both products are listed on the EPA’s List N as effective against COVID-19.

    3. How is CCS addressing cross contamination issues? How can we be assured that cleaning supplies (such as cloths) are not being used from one space to another and are being swapped out as necessary?

    • CCS uses a color coded system to prevent cross contamination. Microfiber cloths are used to remove soil and biofilm from surfaces so that the disinfectant is able to work on any pathogens, and then leave a residual amount of disinfectant that remains wet for the required dwell time. The industry utilizes microfiber cloths for their ability to pick up soil and retain it. We follow industry best practices of folding cloths into quarters which yields 8 separate and distinct surfaces to remove soil load. Once a cloth has become loaded, it is replaced with a clean cloth. Soil is later removed from the cloths via washing.
    • It is important to note that the cloths are fully saturated with disinfectant, ensuring the proper amount of disinfectant is left behind for the surface to remain wet for the required dwell time per EPA regulations.

    4. What changes will CCS be implementing in the scope of work upon return of the tenants? Will there be any additional cost for these changes?

    • We recommend increasing the frequency of disinfecting touch points during occupied hours to bolster the frequency of breaking the chain of infection. There may be additional protocols that building managers request in order to accomplish this or we may add additional services to the building cleaning process at your request.
    • We will consult CCS will continue to perform the same scope of work outlined in the service contract.
    • with you in order to shift or add services to accommodate the specific requirements of your building/tenants.
    • CCS Night Cleaners and Porters currently use Spartan HDQ Neutral Disinfectant Cleaner on all non-porous surfaces to clean common touch points. We shifted from cleaning of all common touch points to all surfaces at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak and will continue until it is no longer necessary.
    • CCS Day Porters will continue to focus on high touch point areas in order to break the chain of infection as often as possible.

    5. What long term solutions is CCS planning on implementing as a result of the pandemic?

    • We are increasing the frequency of disinfecting upon request
    • Additionally, upon request, we will be incorporating the periodic use of electrostatic disinfecting
    • We will be purchasing additional critical supplies to increase our inventory of these items
    • Our team monitors changes issued by the CDC, the EPA….. ADD NOTE ON STAYING UP W/HEALTH AND SAFETY PROTOCOLS / always taking the most proactive approach

    6. Does CCS have ample supply of sanitizer refills for existing hand sanitizer stations?

    • Level 1 facilities, such as hospitals, are first priority for hand sanitizer refills. However, we can submit an order today, but the delivery time will likely be 3 to 4 weeks or even longer based on the product availability.

    7. What additional steps are you taking to ensure that your employees are safe?

    • CCS employees are provided face covers per the CDC recommended guidelines along with other necessary PPE in order to ensure they are protected from workplace hazards.
    • CCS employees will maintain social distancing guidelines of at least six feet from others during the performance of their duties.
    • Employees are required to wash their reusable face covers after each shift using soap and water, rinsing them thoroughly, and allowing them to dry.
    • All employees are required to perform handwashing after removing gloves, before touching their face or eating.
    • Non-launderable but reusable PPE are wiped down with disinfectant inside and out after use; disinfectant is then reapplied and allowed to dry for the proper dwell time (70% or greater alcohol may be used in lieu of disinfectant for the final step.)

    8. What are you doing to ensure no CCS workers are on-duty if they are sick?

    • Any CCS employee who is not feeling well is immediately sent home.
    • Additional CCS precautions:taking the most proactive approach
      • Communicate COVID-19 precautions with each CCS worker bilingually (English/Spanish) in writing.
      • Workers who have traveled to or had contact with someone who has traveled to an affected area may not return to work until the person who traveled AND the CCS worker has been COVID-19 symptom free for a minimum of fourteen (14) days.
      • Workers who have had COVID-19 symptoms or had close contact with someone who has had symptoms must be cleared by a medical professional before returning to work and provide CCS with documentation as such.

    9. May we screen the janitorial crew upon arrival to our building? May we direct them to complete a health questionnaire or have their temperature taken?

    • Per your building requirements, CCS employees may be asked to complete a health questionnaire or have their temperature taken prior to their shift starting.
    • Due to a limited number of reliable non-touch thermometers being available in the marketplace, we will rely on building management to provide the needed screening devices if their policy requires screening.

    10. What additional suggestions do you have to break the chain of infection at our building or in general  before having tenants return to work?

    • Place trash receptacles at exits of restrooms so occupants can use the towel they dry hands with to open the door and then easily and immediately dispose of the towel.
    • Schedule special tenant requests prior to their return – i.e. carpet/upholstery cleaning, electrostatic disinfection, additional day porter services within suites
    • Consider replacing manual dispensers with touch free automated dispensers. Examples include soap, towel, sanitizer.
    • Consider shifting day porter priorities or adding day porter services to increase frequency of touchpoint disinfecting.
    • Promote proper handwashing procedures via simple instructions in all restrooms and other forms of building communication.
    • Tenants should consider purchasing disinfectant wipes for their employees to self-clean workstations.
    • Reduce or remove common area seating to maintain at least six feet of separation between individuals.
    • Reduce or remove seating in conference rooms or gathering areas to maintain at least six feet of separation between individuals.
    • Remove personal items and clear papers each day so that janitorial staff can properly and more easily disinfect open/clean areas of work stations as outlined in scope of work.
    • Maintain disinfectant wipes next to copy machines and other commonly used electronics, kitchenettes and breakrooms.
    • Install toe pulls for common doors or leave doors open, when/where possible.
    • Consider wearing face covers in office when/where appropriate.

    11. How does CCS ensure its staff practices safe/social distancing while at the building?

    • In situations where CCS is employing team cleaning, employees will be asked to stay a minimum of six feet apart to ensure each employee is at a safe distance. This includes limiting the number of employees who enter the freight elevator at one time.
    • CCS will stagger clock in/clock out and breaks for employees at larger facility locations

    12. Can we have our carpets disinfected? Do vacuum cleaners spread the virus?

    • CCS can hot water steam extract carpet using a disinfecting cleaner upon request. The industry has determined there is no absolute guarantee that carpets can be completely disinfected, but the process does provide a sanitizing claim. The difference between the two—disinfected vs sanitized—is a 99.9% vs. 99.9999% virus inactivation (kill claim). Sanitizing is significantly better than doing nothing. Additionally, emerging data is showing that the COVID-19 virus is sensitive to both heat and humidity, at levels far lower than the levels carpet is subjected to during this process.
    • CCS can hot water steam extract carpet using a disinfecting cleaner upon request. The industry has determined there is no absolute guarantee that carpets can be completely disinfected, but the process does provide a sanitizing claim. The difference between the two—disinfected vs sanitized—is a 99.9% vs. 99.9999% virus inactivation (kill claim). Sanitizing is significantly better than doing nothing. Additionally, emerging data is showing that the COVID-19 virus is sensitive to both heat and humidity, at levels far lower than the levels carpet is subjected to during this process.

    13. Once a surface has been disinfected, how long does that last?  Is there any residual effect on COVID-19 after disinfecting? What about antimicrobial coatings that we have been seeing lately?

    • Current technology in disinfectants require a dwell or contact time for the surface to remain wet with the disinfectant in order for it to kill or inactivate specific pathogens. Once that disinfectant has dried, there is no assurance of any additional efficacy.
    • Once a surface has been disinfected, it remains so until a pathogen is reintroduced to that surface, usually by someone coughing, sneezing or touching that surface with contaminated hands/items. Since we cannot see or measure COVID-19 on a surface in real-time, we have to assume the surface is possibly contaminated the moment the area is re-occupied after disinfection.
    • There are companies that claim to have a product to apply to surfaces that has antimicrobial benefits. We have seen a number of these emerge in the market in the past few months. Unfortunately, none of the offerings have a proven effect on COVID-19 and the EPA has advised against their exclusive use to maintain a sanitary status for any pathogens without continued use of standard disinfectants. Until they are proven and recognized by a trusted approval authority, we are unable to tell you if they work or not.

    14. How will day cleaning be affected since there is a required dwell/contact time for the disinfectant?

    • Since the surface is to remain wet with disinfectant for the required dwell time, it may delay how quickly a tenant may be able to re-occupy that space by as much as 10 minutes. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that the disinfectant will achieve a sanitizing level (99.9%) within a shorter period of time, but it is tested to reach disinfectant claim levels (99.9999%) at the 10 minute mark.

    15. Should we switch from normal to antibacterial soap for handwashing?

    • The FDA advises against using over the counter antibacterial soap because it is not shown to work any better than standard soap.
    • More importantly, COVID-19 is a virus not a bacteria. Even if antibacterial soap was shown to be effective on bacteria vs. regular soap, that has no relation to efficacy on this virus or any virus.
    • COVID-19 is inactivated by hand soap in that the soap dissolved the fatty envelope that protects the virus, and then it is no longer a threat.

    16. Which is better, handwashing or hand sanitizer?

    • Handwashing is preferred over hand sanitizing, but it must be done rigorously for at least 20 seconds to be fully effective.
    • Hand sanitizer is effective but should be reserved for when handwashing is not practical or available. If hands are visibly soiled, hand sanitizer is not considered effective.
    • When given the choice, we recommend placing hand sanitizing stations in areas where handwashing is unavailable instead of in restrooms. Hand sanitizer refills are in short supply, and readily available hand soap and water in restrooms should be promoted as the better option between the two.

    17. What if someone comes into our office who is infected with COVID-19? Is CCS able to address this and make the area safe again?

    • CCS has GBAC Forensic Restoration Technicians® and other trained technicians who follow protocols recommended for bio-hazard remediation by the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (gbac.org), and specific procedures that have been reviewed by a Certified Industrial Hygienist to ensure that they meet or exceed all CDC and other requirements to address COVID-19. We have invested in the technology, tools and enhanced specialty protective equipment required to respond to, remediate, and recover an area where a confirmed or presumptive positive case has been reported.
    • For areas where full bio-hazard remediation is not required, we are able to provide an enhanced level of disinfection using our electrostatic spray application technology on a one time, or recurring basis.
    • Both bio-hazard remediation for confirmed COVID-19 cases as well as enhanced disinfecting are conducted by specially trained teams; there are additional costs associated with each level.

    18. Is electrostatic sprayer application safe? Will it effect the HVAC system? How long do we have to wait before the area is safe to reenter?

    • Electrostatic spray application has been used for decades in other industries; the technology has proven to be safe and effective.
    • The electrostatic sprayers introduce a small charge to each droplet of liquid (disinfectant) which causes that drop to repel other drops (promotes even dispersion), and to attract to uncharged surfaces (wraps around objects). Both of these things make it more effective in getting disinfectant to make contact with surfaces.  While the charge is strong enough to overcome gravity if there is something close by to attract to, it does not allow the liquid droplets to remain in the air for more than seconds.
    • Electrostatic sprayers use a droplet size that is large enough so that it does not stay in the air like a fogger or mister does. For this reason, the drops either attract to a surface or fall to the ground within seconds.  This prevents them from entering into the HVAC system, and also allows the room to be occupied immediately after application.  We would always ask you to wait at least 10 minutes to ensure the disinfectant has time to work before reoccupying a space.
    • The electrostatic charge is not strong enough to cause electrical harm to common electronics. We would stay away from a server out of an abundance of caution, but standard electronics are not a problem.

    19. What are some things that our employees, staff, and tenants can do to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace?

    • Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you cough or sneeze or touch objects used by others (e.g. door handles, elevator call buttons and kitchen appliances). Use a paper towel to turn off the faucet.
    • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer (60% or stronger) if soap and water is not available.
    • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Avoid close contact with sick people.
    • Cover your coughs and sneezes with tissue or a shirt sleeve, not your hands.
    • If you get sick, the CDC recommends that you stay home from work.

    20. What are some things that our employees, staff, and tenants can do to reduce the spread of COVID-19 at home?
    This is what the CDC is advising about Cleaning and Disinfection that are applicable to an employee in their home and for their families:
    Clean

    • Clean surfaces using soap and water, practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces.
    • High touch surfaces include: Tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, etc.

    Disinfect

    • Clean the area of item with soap and water or another detergent if it is dirty. Then, use disinfectant.
    • Diluted household bleach solutions may be used if appropriate for the surface (remember bleach may damage some items). Check the bleach to ensure it is not past is expiration date.  Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.
    • Allow for ventilation when working with bleach, and NEVER mix with ammonia or other cleansers.
    • Allow bleach solution to remain wet on the surface for at least one minute.

    Laundry – For clothing, towels, linens and other items:

    • Wear disposable gloves if known/suspected case exists.
    • Wash hands with soap and water as soon as you remove gloves, or after handling laundry when you do not use gloves.
    • Do not shake dirty laundry.
    • Launder items according to the manufacturer’s instructions – use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items thoroughly.
    • Dirty laundry from a sick person can be washed with other people’s items (this is directly from the CDC). (note: this is because soap dissolves the lipid [fat] surrounding the virus, rendering it inactive)
    • Clean and disinfect clothes hampers according to instruction above.

    Handwashing

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.
    • Always wash immediately after removing gloves and after contact with a sick person or their articles.
    • Use hand sanitizer
      • If soap and water are not available.
      • If hands are not visibly soiled – if soiled, you must wash hands with soap and water.
      • Use 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer or stronger.

    Additional key times to wash hands include:

    • After blowing one’s nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • After using the restroom.
    • Before eating or preparing food.
    • After contact with animals or pets.
    • Before and after providing routine care for another person who needs assistance (i.e. a child).

    21. Is there a way to maintain our current cost but change our scope to focus on disinfecting of all high touch points? What services will suffer as a result of the change in scope?

    • CCS can work with you to reallocate resources in order to increase the frequency of disinfecting touch points during occupied hours in order to maintain cleaning costs. In the event that you do not wish to reallocate and would rather increase staffing, there will be additional costs for these services. We are happy to sit down with you to work out a solution that meets your goals with the least disruption to normal building operations.