The world is on lockdown due to the COVID-19 virus, which has been threatening the lives of people from around the world. Many have shifted their workspace from a desk at the office to a desk at home, while this is a great way for workers to keep bringing in income, it’s also important to take the necessary measures to clean your workspace, especially since the virus remains on some surfaces for hours or even days.
How long does the coronavirus last on surfaces?
A recent study discovered that under normal conditions the virus can last up to 3 days on stainless steel and plastic, which are pretty much everywhere, including our phone, pc or laptop, desk, mouse, monitor, etc.
Let’s have a look at the next infographic that Business Insider published from the New England Journal of Medicine:
As you can see, it really can last a long time on many surfaces. That’s why today we’re sharing our advice on how to keep your desk clean and reduce the possibility of infection.
Cleaning your desk to reduce the risk of infection
First, we should define some differences between cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing your workplace, even if they seem like similar words, they actually have very different meanings.
Cleaning means removing germs from surfaces or objects, this can be done by using soap and water. This process does not necessarily kill germs but removes them, lowering their number and the risk of spreading.
Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces or objects, this works by using chemicals, this process does not always clean the surfaces but doing this after cleaning it can lower the risk of spread and infection.
Sanitizing lowers the number of germs lowers germs on surfaces or objects to a safe level as judged by public health standards, this process works either by cleaning or disinfecting to lower the risk of spreading infection.
So as you may notice there are big differences between each one but the combination of cleaning and disinfecting is the sweet spot.
You may be asking “But what should I use to clean or how should I clean my workspace?” Don’t worry we got your back on this one.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), establishes that for cleaning we should always use EPA approved products, such as Lysol, Rex, Clorox, etc. If you have any of these products then you just need to follow the instructions on the package which may vary depending on the product.
If these products are hard to come by due to panic buying leading to shortages, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recommends the following combination to clean and disinfect:
“...With a chlorine bleach solution made by adding 1 tablespoon of bleach to a quart (4 cups) of water; use a cloth to apply this to surfaces and let stand for 3 – 5 minutes before rinsing with clean water. (For a larger supply of disinfectant, add ¼ cup of bleach to a gallon [16 cups] of water.)
Wear gloves to protect your hands when working with strong bleach solutions or strong disinfectant”
This will work on many surfaces, but for electronics, it’s a different story since we cannot rinse them with water and soap.
For your phone/electronics you need to be more careful, some general advice is to wipe them down with rubbing alcohol that is at least 70%, and let them rest for 2-3 minutes. Don’t apply directly to any openings (speakers, charging port aux entrance) or you can check what your phone manufacturer says, for example, Apple and Samsung both have issued guides on how to disinfect your phone.
Sometimes we feel a little lazy or we’re occupied with our families, work activities and so on, it’s a good idea to set apart some time each day to clean your workspace. This will help make it part of our everyday routine. You could do it before or after work, at a time when your children are sleeping, it could be as you wake up or almost going to bed, try and find the best time in your day and make a habit of it.
While this may be new to a lot of people, we encourage you to keep your desk clean. No matter where you are as this helps prevent you and others to get sick during these trying times.
Keep yourself and others safe.
This article was written by Nelson Grullón, a Recruitment Analyst at Blue Coding. Nelson has been a key contributor to the improvement of our recruitment process, helping to greatly increase the quantity and quality of candidates available to our clients. Outside of work, Nelson loves trying new food, going on road trips, and working on his independent project – a platform designed to promote independent Dominican artists and their music.