Disinfection in hotels against covid-19

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR AIR FILTERING AND VENTILATION IN THE FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19
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On 31st December, 2019, the Wuhan Municipal Health and Sanitation Commission (Hubei Province, China) reported the detection of a cluster of 27 cases of pneumonia of unknown causes, with a common exposure to a seafood, fish, and live animal wholesale market in Wuhan City, including cases involving serious clinical symptoms. The first case started with fever, dry cough, breathlessness and radiological findings of bilateral pulmonary infiltrates on 8th December, 2019.

On January 7, 2020, the Chinese authorities identified a new type of virus from the Coronaviridae family as the causative agent of the outbreak. which has subsequently been named SARSCoV-2, whose genetic sequence was shared by Chinese authorities on 12th January. The disease caused by this new virus has now been internationally named defined as COVID-19.

According to current evidence, the incubation period is estimated to be 5 days (range 2-14 days). The disease mainly affects people between 30 and 79 years old, being very rare among those under 20 years of age. The fatality rate is estimated at approximately 2% (95% CI 0.5-4%). 80% of the identified cases present mild symptoms and 20% may have more serious clinical manifestations, in most of these cases the patients presented prexisting conditons such as hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes or chronic respiratory disease.

Royal Decree 463/2020 of 14th by which the state of Alarm was declared (Spain)

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Under the provisions of article four, sections b) and d), of Organic Law 4/1981, of June 1, on states of alarm, exceptional circumstances and siege, the state of alarm was declared in order to address the health emergency situation caused by the coronavirus COVID-19

The current crisis highlights the responsibilities of HVAC engineers, along with service and maintenance personnel, building owners and operators to carefully evaluate building’s ventilation systems and their conditions. Adequate ventilation, with a higher degree of fresh air supply, use of the correct filter types, and careful maintenance can be important factors in containing the coronavirus outbreak.

Introducción

On 31st December, 2019, the Wuhan Municipal Health and Sanitation Commission (Hubei Province, China) reported the detection of a cluster of 27 cases of pneumonia of unknown causes, with a common exposure to a seafood, fish, and live animal wholesale market in Wuhan City, including cases involving serious clinical symptoms. The first case started with fever, dry cough, breathlessness and radiological findings of bilateral pulmonary infiltrates on 8th December, 2019.

On January 7, 2020, the Chinese authorities identified a new type of virus from the Coronaviridae family as the causative agent of the outbreak. which has subsequently been named SARSCoV-2, whose genetic sequence was shared by Chinese authorities on 12th January. The disease caused by this new virus has now been internationally named defined as COVID-19.

According to current evidence, the incubation period is estimated to be 5 days (range 2-14 days). The disease mainly affects people between 30 and 79 years old, being very rare among those under 20 years of age. The fatality rate is estimated at approximately 2% (95% CI 0.5-4%). 80% of the identified cases present mild symptoms and 20% may have more serious clinical manifestations, in most of these cases the patients presented prexisting conditons such as hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes or chronic respiratory disease.

 

Transmission routes

The main route of transmission of the disease popularly known as Wuhan coronavirus is by air, through small droplets that are produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It is also transmitted by touching the eyes, nose or mouth after touching contaminated surfaces.

Suspended in the air, the pathogen has a half-life of three hours after being expelled in the form of small droplets, between 1 and 5 micrometers (about 30 times smaller than the thickness of a human hair), The thickest droplets tend to settle on the surfaces in their path before reaching the ground, due to their heavy nature.

SARS-CoV-2 can survive up to three days on plastic and stainless-steel surfaces, and up to 24 hours on cardboard, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The results suggest that the virus could remain infectious during that time on doorknobs, computer keyboards, public transport handles or railings, mobile phones, or toys.In contrast, on copper surfaces the virus only lasts four hours.

To find out more information, a team of researchers from the United States’ National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the University of California Los Angeles, sprayed seven materials common in homes and hospitals with the pathogen in the laboratory. To do this, they used a nebuliser, to mimic human sneezes or coughs. Upon doing this, samples were taken from each of the surfaces at different times to check if the virus was still infectious. This is how they discovered that, in line with what happens in the case of SARS and MERS, the new virus maintains its infectivity for up to 72 hours.

On other types of surfaces, such as clothing or sheets, the researchers point out that the coronavirus is unlikely to survive, although they are running tests.

 

Disinfection/Santization of spaces

Spaces, vehicles and facilities can be disinfected by applying a broad spectrum disinfectant with direct contact spraying or nebulisation, accessing all surfaces and areas that are difficult to access with a broad spectrum disinfectant by using a nebulising method which allows for the treating of large areas in short periods of time, achieving maximum effectiveness and minimum downtime for the business in question.

Regular disinfection services should be part of the action plan to prevent the spread of all harmful bacteria and viruses, such as the flu virus or coronavirus.

 

Disinfectants/Sanitisers to combat the virus

The disinfectants used are effective and safe, and of recognised efficacy against viruses, such as coronavirus, chosen by governments around the world for the Control of Emergencies of Diseases and are included in the biosecurity guidelines of the United Nations Organization for the Food and Agriculture.

 

How should a space be prepared before a disinfection service?

 

To ensure that the service can be carried out safely and with maximum effectiveness, be sure to follow the following tips before starting treatment of the space:

  • Remove any material that could be damaged by moisture – paper, artwork, or other materials.
  • Make sure you remove all food from the area.
  • Store and protect food containers and utensils, making sure that they are out of reach of any fogging produced by spraying/nebulising.
  • Cover all electrical equipment – keyboards, monitors, printers, etc. with plastic.
  • Pre-disinfect any item that is covered or removed with a safe product (alcohol-based wipes or spray)

 

What should I expect during the disinfection service?

The application of disinfectants involves the use of an automatic device designed to disperse the product into fine particles, microns, which will remain suspended in the air until they settle slowly on all surfaces in the treated space. This will result in the surfaces becoming damp, at which time the disinfectant acts to kill bacteria and viruses. To ensure effectiveness of the service, surfaces must be allowed to dry and the treated space must not be accessed until 3 hours after the application of the product is completed.

 

Do I need to do anything after the disinfection service is finished?

In addition to the obvious peace of mind granted to both staff and guests, the following tips should be taken into account to ensure the success of the service:

  • Advise staff that if moisture remains upon arrival, it should be dried with a paper towel which must then be thrown away.
  • Avoid direct contact with the product.
  • Make sure that all previously removed materials have been adequately disinfected before being reintroduced into the treated space.

 

Recomendations and conclusions

Below you’ll find a series of recommendations for both public and private establishments that should be taken into account and that could serve as a reference to make some kind of publicly distributed guide or leaflet to customers and employees. Due to the fact that the time that the hotels will remain closed will be much longer than the life of the virus, it would not make much sense to carry out a disinfection by means of nebulisation or direct application with spray before the opening of the hotel since these treatments lack a broad residual disinfectant power of (+ – 3 hours).

If we have a clean and disinfected surface and an infected person arrives, they could potentially infect us all and due to the type of establishment and its size, it would be very difficult to carry out these treatments on a daily basis, as Mercadona (a Spanish supermarket chain) does with its establishments at night.

It would seem that it is more advisable to do a treatment about a week after opening the hotel.

Household bleach is very effective for disinfecting surfaces where viruses may be present:

  • Frequently touched surfaces: tables and chairs, desks, bedside tables, bedroom furniture, work desks, etc.
  • Doorknobs.
  • Bathroom and toilet surfaces.
  • Taps

For bleach to be effective, the surfaces must be previously cleaned with damp cloths to collect dust.

Then clean those same surfaces with another cloth soaked in a 1:50 bleach solution.

 

How to prepare the 1:50 bleach solution?

  • Take 20 ml of bleach (the brand is unimportant)
  • Pour it into a 1 litre bottle.
  • Add tap water until the bottle is full.
  • Close and shake several times to mix. All possible areas should be thoroughly cleaned every day with 10% water and bleach

Prepare the mixture the same day that it’s destined to be applied to surfaces.

Soak a clean cloth with this solution to disinfect surfaces. Clean the cloth with tap water after each use and re-soak it with this bleach solution. Wear gloves.

 

Disinfection of personal objects

Personal items can be disinfected with 70º proof alcohol

    • Glasses
    • Fixed telephones.
    • Mobiles (avoid sharing).
    • Computer keyboards and mouse.
    • Remote controls.
    • Keys

 

How to prepare 70º alcohol solution?

  • You can start with alcohol to disinfect the wounds that we have at home in a first aid kit, which is 96º proof alcohol.
  • Take 70 ml of 96º proof alcohol.
  • Fill with tap water up to 100 ml.
  • Close and shake several times to mix.

Soak a clean cloth with this solution to disinfect personal items

 

Domestic Waste

Maintain selective rubbish collection as specified to date. The organic waste that is generated must be deposited in the corresponding bag and closed very well so that nothing is spilled.
Deposit it in the community bins.

 

Homes with COVID-19 cases

For disinfection in homes with a COVID-19 case to be effective, cleaning and disinfection must be done using extreme measures. The affected person must remain isolated in a room.

  • You should maximise the daily ventilation of the room.
  • Clothing and household items (bedding, towels, sheets, etc.)
  • Place them in a zip-lock bag until ready to wash.
  • Do not shake clothes before washing them.
  • Wash them with regular soaps or detergents at 60-90 ºC and let them dry completely.
  • Disposable material for the patient, caregivers (gloves, handkerchiefs, masks) and personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare personnel:
  • Place in a rubbish bin with a lid and an opening pedal (bag 1). It will remain inside the patient’s room.
  • Bag 1, made of plastic, must be closed before taking it out of the room and put it in a second garbage bag (bag 2), next to the exit of the room, where the gloves and mask used by the caregiver should also be deposited, and it should be properly closed before leaving the room.
  • Bag 2, with the previous waste, will be deposited with the rest of the domestic waste in the corresponding rubbish bag (bag 3).
  • Immediately afterwards, a complete hand hygiene washing process will be carried out, with soap and water, for at least 40-60 seconds. The properly closed bag 3 will be deposited exclusively in the container/bin established in the local entity.
  • Dispose of with the rest of household waste as long as it is in an airtight sealed bag.
  • Reusable dishes and cutlery should be washed preferably in washing up dish water or with hot soapy water.
  • Personal hygiene.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a bent elbow. (inside of elbow)
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth- hands facilitate transmission.
  • Use disposable tissues to eliminate respiratory secretions and throw them away after use, do not keep them.
  • Avoid close contact with other people if symptoms occur

Using the following link you can consult updated procedures released by the Spain Ministry of Health.

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