Organizations around the world are working tirelessly to implement new safety precautions, working arrangements, and procedures to slow the spread of Coronavirus (formally known as COVID-19). For many companies, the option to work remote or close down isn’t possible, so ensuring the right precautions are in place is crucial – many of which can be implemented by the facilities department.

Protocols for keeping your organization safe from Coronavirus

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises organizations to do the following. 

  1. Use your local public health department to update your emergency operations plan to include COVID-19 planning.
  2. Find space in your facility, school, office, etc. that can be used to separate sick people from healthy people if needed.
  3. Create an emergency communication plan that allows your team to notify staff and occupants about important information. 
  4. Advocate healthy practices around your buildings. This includes: 
    • Washing your hands frequently, and for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. In order for hand sanitizer to be effective, you must cover the entire hand and rub until dry. 
    • Encouraging staff to stay home when sick. 
    • Disinfecting frequently touched objects often.
    • Covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the inside of your elbow.
  5. Provide necessary supplies in your facility. This includes soap, hand sanitizer, tissues, trash bins, and face masks in case someone contracts it during an event. 
  6. Put flexible attendance, remote work, and sick-leave policies in place, and plan for staff absences with backup coverage as needed. 

How facilities managers play a crucial role

Your facilities department can play a major role in keeping your facilities safe for staff and occupants. It comes down to one thing – cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces and objects. These include desks, keyboards, doorknobs, sink knobs, handrails, tablets, computer mice, machinery, and more. 

Follow these step-by-step instructions to properly clean and disinfect your facilities while keeping staff healthy. 

  1. Assess your facilities to determine high traffic areas and frequently touched surfaces. Prioritize areas and assign staff members to these for maximum efficiency. 
  2. Put on disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting. This protects those cleaning and slows the spread of the virus.
  3. If a surface you are disinfecting is dirty, be sure to clean it with soap and water before disinfecting for optimal effectiveness. 
  4. Disinfect the surface/object with an EPA-registered household disinfectant. It must contain at least 70% alcohol. If you are unable to access disinfectant, you can create your own by mixing 5 tablespoons bleach per 1 gallon of water or 4 tablespoons of bleach per 1 quart of water. 
  5. Dispose of these gloves immediately after use, and do not use them for anything other than cleaning or disinfecting your facilities.

Note: If handling towels, sheets, or linens that will be put into the laundry, be sure to wear disposable gloves when handling these items.

For easy access to and distribution of this checklist, download the PDF below.

Download Sanitation Checklist

If you are an FMX customer, speak to your Customer Success Manager or Account Manager about setting this up as an instruction set for your facilities.

More COVID-19 resources from the CDC

Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations

Checklist: Get Your School Ready for Coronavirus Disease

Checklist for Community and Faith Leaders to Prepare for Coronavirus Disease

Healthcare Professional Preparedness Checklist for COVID-19