‘Deep Clean’ To Fight Coronavirus Has Different Meanings Across Industries : ShotsMarch 17, 2020
Mario Tama/Getty Images
The Diamond Princess cruise ship. A Georgetown church in Washington, D.C. A Latin American restaurant in Raleigh, N.C. A hotel in Oklahoma City. Two Broadway theaters in New York City.
All announced that they’ve undergone a “deep clean” in recent weeks after discovering that a person infected with the novel coronavirus had been there.
That’s just the tip of a tall stack of businesses and consumer gathering spots that say they are stepping up cleaning protocols.
While cleaning for the coronavirus is not that different from disinfecting for other viruses, like those that cause the flu or a common cold, industries are tailoring the cleaning in keeping with what makes sense for them. Public health officials suggest a few common steps can be used by both businesses and individual households: increasing the frequency of cleanings, using disinfectant products that federal officials say are effective, cleaning “high-touch” spots and making hand sanitizer readily available.
But there is no universal protocol for a “deep clean” of highly trafficked public or commercial spaces to eradicate the coronavirus. Ridding it from smooth surfaces is easier than getting it out of upholstery or carpeting, for instance. And the key to blunting the spread of COVID-19 hinges on good hygiene practices, and a recognition that minimizing the amount of virus spreading in the community is the goal.
“No cleaning protocol is perfect,” says Benjamin Lopman, an associate professor of epidemiology at Emory University in Atlanta. But combining cleaning with other public health initiatives, such as social distancing, he says, “will act in concert, hopefully, in reducing the transmission of the coronavirus.”
Deep cleaning is not a scientific concept and likely means something different to individual businesses or consumers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidelines for community facilities that have had people with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19. It recommends that “high-touch” surfaces be disinfected daily.
But not all forms of infection control are the same. Disinfectants…