How Professional Cleaners Disinfect Coronavirus-Contaminated Sites

In the COVID-19 era, the process of cleaning and disinfecting shared spaces is more crucial than ever.

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Professional cleaners have a front-line role against the virus, and cleaning companies, which provide an essential service, are working during the state’s stay-at-home order.

Chicago-based Rozalado Services is one such company. Their cleaning crews wear full personal protective equipment – including jumpsuits and respirators – when they service an office building, health care facility, manufacturing plant or other site where COVID-19 is believed to be present.

Rozalado Services managing partner Tony Pedroza said the company’s cleaners, including himself, have so far serviced 13 sites where someone with a confirmed case of the virus spent time. There, they perform a three-step disinfection process. Pedroza said the company has performed the service as a preventive measure at another 68 locations.

“We’ve gone into locations that have definitely had confirmed COVID-19 cases as recent as the person left an hour ago or the person hadn’t been there for a week,” Pedroza said.

On Saturday, Pedroza and Dominic Amoroso, Rozalado’s director of operations, demonstrated the company’s process for disinfecting a coronavirus-contaminated area with virucide – a cleaning agent used to kill viruses.

First, Rozalado’s cleaners get suited up and walk through the space.

Next, areas are sprayed with virucide, which must remain on surfaces for a specific “dwell time” – the amount of time needed for the disinfectant to kill a virus.

After the dwell time, the surface is thoroughly wiped down by hand.

The tools used in the third and final disinfection step depend on the size of the space. An electrostatic sprayer, used in small and medium-sized areas, sends positively charged particles of disinfectant clinging to surfaces and crevices. For larger areas like warehouses, a fogger is used to disperse a fine mist of disinfectant through the air to kill airborne viruses or cover hard-to-reach areas.

Amoroso said the company is training its cleaners in small groups on the heightened standards for cleaning and safety during the pandemic.

“Three or four people at a time, we’re training them on the new steps, the new processes and protocols on how to clean,” Amoroso said. “The old style of cleaning is not something we can do, we’ve got to change with the times.”

The company said it uses disinfectants and protocols recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Follow Evan Garcia on Twitter: @EvanRGarcia

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