As more companies bring workers back into the office, after months of working from home, business is also ramping up for the services that clean those buildings.
"We've added a lot of high-touch surfaces that we didn't clean daily before,” says Jimmy Schoenfeld, president of CleanTurn Cleaning Services. “Now we clean light switches, doorknobs, kickplates, bathroom, everything in the bathroom."
The pandemic has forced some permanent changes for the company.
“We have gone from the company that just takes out the trash and mops floors, and dusts and keep the space looking clean, but now it needs to be clean in terms of healthy clean as well,” Schoenfeld says.
Schoenfeld says now routine cleaning includes a hospital disinfectant that can produce the best results to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“We recommend they clean them as often as they can afford to clean them,” Schoenfeld says. “A daily clean is the best thing you can do for coronavirus, especially with the need to constantly disinfect.”
Schoenfeld says his company ordered a unique machine that uses an electrostatic spray, which costs anywhere from $1,000-3,000. But there's high demand: The machine is currently on back order from China.
“What it does is put an electrical charge inside disinfectant as it sprays a mist of disinfectant, and that electrical charge sticks like static electricity to all surfaces,” Schoenfeld says.
At the outset of Ohio's stay-at-home order, in mid-March, Schoenfeld says his company lost about 40% of its business, but most has since come back.
CleanTurn employs about 75 full and part-time workers. Schoenfeld says a few employees decided not to return, with some experiencing issues obtaining child care because of new state regulations, and others worrying they would spread the disease to an elderly relative.
“Many of our employees feel safer at work than they do at the grocery store or out and about because they know here at work everyone is following the precautions to prevent the spread,” Schoenfeld says.
The Columbus Public Health Department visited the company in early spring to examine what procedures they were taking to safeguard employees. Schoenfeld says meetings are short, with no more than 10 people, face masks are mandatory and hand sanitizer is readily available.
“The one thing that was not happening was a six-foot distance inside a vehicle with our teams that go out in two or three,” Schoenfeld. “Therefore, we quickly installed plexiglass shields between the seats in our cars, and now everyone has a barrier as they transport site to site."