The Centers for Disease Control are continuing to respond to an outbreak of the new coronavirus. While the virus is termed coronavirus, the sickness that results has been termed COVID-19. COVID-19 has been declared a pandemic, which is a global outbreak of a disease.
Illness from COVID-19 is wide ranging, from mild to severe symptoms and death. It is important to consult your medical provider if you develop any severe or concerning symptoms. According to the CDC, symptom may appear two days to two weeks after exposure:
- Shortness of breath
Need Specialized Cleanup Services, such as facility or structure cleaning and applying disinfectant?
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Professional Level Cleaning Services
Bailtek is uniquely prepared during this unprecedented outbreak to clean, sanitize and apply disinfectant in your home or business. We are guided by the protocols set forth by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and local authorities. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants. Our professionals are I.I.C.R.C. trained to perform a deep clean in facilities that includes sanitizing and applying disinfectant. At Bailtek, we will go beyond the scope of work that the regular janitorial staff perform daily.
The CDC encourages cleaning of hard (non-porous) surfaces such as counters, handrails, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Surfaces and areas to think about include the following:
- Food Prep Areas
- Fitness Equipment
- Retail Spaces
- Water Fountains
- Shelving or Racks
- Sales Counters
- Stair Handrails
- Playground Equipment
As for soft (porous) surfaces, the CDC’s guidance says for surfaces such as carpeted floor, rugs, and drapes, remove visible contamination if present and clean with appropriate cleaners indicated for use on these surfaces. After cleaning, if the items can be laundered, launder items in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and then dry items completely. Otherwise, use products that are EPA-approved for use against the virus that causes COVID-19 and that are suitable for porous surfaces
Specialized Cleaning Products
The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Many of the cleaning products at Bailtek have the EPA approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines provided by the CDC and local authorities.
Air Scrubber Facts
Can an air scrubber capture coronavirus? To a degree…Yes. An air scrubber equipped with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air)-rated filter can technically capture a portion of airborne virus-sized particles. Once trapped, viruses cannot multiply on their own or remain infectious for long. But NO air scrubber can completely protect you from a virus
HOW HEPA REALLY WORKS
Originally developed in support of clean rooms for atomic energy development, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) created HEPA as a specification for suppliers of filtration products based on particle removal effectiveness (e.g., 99.97% at 0.3 microns and above). Filters are commonly perceived as nets or a screen that will stop objects larger than the smallest holes while letting air through. HEPA filters trap particles much differently than a simple screen or net.
Here’s the reality: HEPA filters are a complex weave of tiny fibers that carry an electrostatic charge which attracts bypassing particles—more like a magnet than a net. The smaller the fiber with the greater charge coefficient, the greater the likelihood of trapping ever smaller particles. All of this is effective to the extent that air can be channeled through enough filter material without air bypassing around it.
HOW DO HEPA AIR SCRUBBERS CAPTURE VIRUSES? IT’S ALL ABOUT PHYSICS
The most current state of the art in filter material is referred to as True HEPA or H13 by the DOE. True HEPA removes 99.97% of particles at 0.3 microns or higher, but this is a helpful yet incomplete description of HEPA capability. Even though some of the particles (like the COVID -19 and H1N1 flu viruses) will bypass the filter—a portion of those will be trapped due to the charged magnetic effect of HEPA fibers.
HEPA filters can remove a portion of airborne particles such as COVID-19 and other flu viruses. But the extent of removal that may be truthfully claimed can only be done by proxy tests in controlled environments, which are still underway. With current HEPA technology, 99% or more of airborne virus particles in a room cannot be removed by an air scrubber nor by other means that have yet to be proven. Of course, this would also not include virus particles that remain alive for periods of time on surfaces open to touch.
HOW VIRUSES SPREAD & WHY AIR SCRUBBERS CAN HELP
COVID-19 spreads by close person-to-person contact, especially when an infected person coughs or sneezes, according to the CDC. Virus particles are attached to and carried by water vapor, which are tiny droplets that float in a fine mist. Coughing is one of COVID-19’s main symptoms, so airborne transmission is a big concern.
The only way to reliably remove virus sized particles from the air is by circulating the entire volume of air in a room or enclosed space multiple times per hour to increase the likelihood that nearly weightless virus particles will enter the airflow of a filter. Since health experts are advising more and more people to stay home, a HEPA air scrubber can play a significant role in minimizing airborne transmission and supporting overall wellness.
WHY FILTERING AIRBORNE VIRUSES IS JUST ONE PART OF PREVENTION
Given justified concerns over the spread of COVID-19, there are some who have suggested that air filtration is ineffective and instead make other recommendations. We believe this is a false dichotomy. Protective measures are both reasonable and cumulative; both/and rather than either/or. Why not take an all-of-the-above approach to virus protection? Yes, we rent air scrubbers and have for 10 years, but we will be the first to recommend additional means of wellness and immune system support in addition to breathing pure air. For example, transmission by physical contact can only be addressed by other non-airborne measures. COVID-19 can remain infectious for three hours when aerosolized into floating particles, like a cough or sneeze, according to a new study. On surfaces, it remains viable for up to three days. Likewise, “viruses can’t multiply on their own—they must infect the cells of a living creature,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, told PBS.
What this means is that viruses trapped in an inorganic HEPA filter will stay there and die without further harmful effects. But since COVID-19 can live for up to three days on surfaces, it’s critical that you follow ALL the CDC’s guidelines to prevent illness.
HOW AIR SCRUBBERS SUPPORT IMMUNE SYSTEM HEALTH + TIPS TO STAY WELL
Each airborne particle you inhale—whether it’s a pollutant, allergen, or pathogen—triggers a response by your immune system. By capturing those harmful particles and circulating clean air throughout your space, your body can focus on keeping your immune system strong day and night.
Breathing air that’s free from harmful particles is just one part of a wellness plan that should include ample sleep, plenty of purified water, good hygiene, and a balanced diet.
Tips and Best Practices to Minimize Your Risk
Cities and states are taking increasingly drastic measures to curb the severity of the pandemic, including the closing of bars, restaurants, and public venues. In some areas, officials have issued “shelter in place” orders in order to compel residents to stay in their homes and limit movement. To further protect yourself, minimize your exposure with the following tips:
Practice Good Hygiene
According to the CDC, here are the top seven ways to protect yourself from COVID-19 every day:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash