The teams at all offices of Panhandle Cleaning and Restoration have been busy for months.
Employees of hospitals, schools, government buildings, and universities in multiple states have seen those familiar red trucks with teams from Panhandle Cleaning and Restoration in Wheeling, Morgantown, and Pittsburgh as the disinfections continue during the COVID-19 crisis.
Those missions focus on cleaning, sure, but also on delivering education to maintenance staff members so proper procedures can be followed long after those red trucks drive away.
“We not here just to come in and tell you that you have to do it. We want to educate each client because each job is different. It is our goal to custom fit a plan that is going to work for each type of venue, whether it’s a government building, a school, or a business,” explained Josh Contraguerro, vice president of specialty service. “As we do that, we follow all of the guidelines that have been established by the CDC, too.
“As far as a school system is concerned, they have the staff in place already. Now, maybe they have not been trained on disinfection, but they do know cleaning,” he said. “So, we are able to go into a school and educate those staff members on how to do what is necessary right now. We are able to arm them with the proper equipment and the proper disinfectant solution.”
Disinfecting an entire campus is a daunting task, but the company has been working on those projects in Morgantown for a few months.
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There are disinfectants that work very quickly against COVID-19, Contraguerro revealed, but only if applied properly on countertops and other touch points inside and outside buildings.
It is about redeveloping the plans for daily and hourly cleansing, he said, so those utilizing the facility can be kept safe from coronavirus exposure.
“We’re not looking to replace anyone, but instead help their staff come up with a routine plan and an emergency plan that would involve us coming in to do the high level, ground zero disinfection,” Contraguerro said. “Some folks call it the ‘magic mist,’ and it works very well, but it is not intended to replace the daily mopping and cleaning that has to take place in the school at least once a day if not more.
“That mist is a supplement to what those staff members are already doing,” he explained. “If the kids do go back to school, there will be things that will need done daily and some things throughout the course of the day. That’s why that education is so important because everyone’s end goal is for everyone involved to be safe.”
The terms have been drilled into our minds: social distancing, wear a mask, wash your hands.
The public has been inundated with safety information, and since the tri-state region reopened, the message seems even more important because of the spikes that have been realized in western Pennsylvania, in the Northern Panhandle, and along Eastern Ohio. In Ohio County on Monday, the Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department announced four new positive cases.
“And that is why we have adapted how we do things when delivering the services that we offer,” Contraguerro explained. “And we have applied those guidelines internally, too, so we are making sure everyone involved is as safe as can be.
“Some of the changes that we have made at our office have involved spacing, the masks, and we even dismantled some of the cubicles so those employees are not working right next to each other,” he continued. “We’ve learned a lot about how this virus works, and we have been offered a lot of advice along the way. No one knows when this will be over, so it’s going to be this way for some time for all of us.”
Crews with Panhandle Cleaning and Restoration have been very busy since the middle of March.