COVID-19 Virus. My company (ten employees) provides, among other things, surface testing for known contaminants. As most of you know, there is no published protocol for the collection or analysis of the Coronavirus in an office environment. Instead, we're suggesting the collection of surface swabs from the representative desk and countertops AFTER administering and monitoring an abatement contractor's disinfection effort, performed according to a cleaning protocol that my company had prepared. Results of the post-cleaning surface tests will be expressed either as "bacteria positive" or "negative."
We were ready to start administering just such a cleanup at a bank branch in the San Fernando Valley after a worker was diagnosed "positive" for the virus and was sent home. The cleanup effort was intended to reduce or eliminate bacteriological contaminants as photographed and documented by our firm.
Initially, the insurance carrier denied the claim. They stated, in effect, that the coronavirus only survives on surfaces for a very short time, so leaving the bank vacant for 5 days, followed by normal cleaning, should be sufficient.
Perhaps. But that approach would not necessarily produce confidence among the office workers, who are reluctant to return without some sort of independent 3rd party testing.
We agreed, arguing that results of surface testing from a certified lab would provide documentation - i.e. proof - that the contractor's disinfection efforts had been effective. We stand by that recommendation.
In the end, the bank agreed; We began the cleaning project today, April 3rd, and will see it through to the end. A good call, and we'll begin our second bank cleaning effort on Monday.
-Duane Behrens, President
Ellis Environmental Mgmt., Inc