Naturally, Ebola was part of the discussion. After all, these contractors clean the hospitals, medical clinics, stores, restaurants, and office buildings we visit every day. It is the BSCs that must develop the plans to clean infected areas, along with CDC and hazardous materials specialists.
So how prepared are we?
CDC has published guidelines and procedures to try to answer questions, combat misinformation, and allay some fears. But the question remains: Can the government and cleanup crews stay ahead of Ebola?
A look back at the last week proves how difficult it is for CDC to access the apartment of an infected patient for cleaning, all due to a bureaucratic mess. Now think of all the policies, procedures and legal considerations involved in quarantining an area.
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What must be cleaned? Perhaps a better question is, What don't we need to clean? Imagine retracing your every step from the time you get out of bed to the time you go to sleep. How many places have you been? How many people did you have direct contact with? Each of these questions leads to an area that could be contaminated, which must be cleaned or, worse, quarantined.
In the cleaning industry, we have a saying: "High work before low work." Which means, start with cleaning the ceiling vents, working down to the floor. That is where we start. Highly infectious and deadly, Ebola is not the flu, so everything in a room must be disinfected. This leads to our next question: Who cleans and how?