COVID Compliance Standards – Commit to a White House Standard

Recently, two members of the White House staff tested positive for COVID-19. Following these diagnoses, the White House stepped up its Corona prevention efforts.  Their heightened protocols for staff and guests of the White House now include but not limited to, daily temperature checks, symptom history tracking and deep cleaning and sanitizing of all work spaces.  Why wouldn’t you, as a business owner, congregation or individual, want to adhere to that same standard to protect your staff, clients, guests and your family?

A Safe & Strategic Restart in Dallas

In an effort to revitalize the Lone Star State, Governor Abbott’s Strike Force to Open Texas was successfully developed.  Printable signs and detailed checklists were created for many categories from work and schools to entertainment and culture.  Government is asking Texans to act responsibility to follow all the health precautions and sanitizing guidelines to meet the compliance standards set forth.  We should be respectful of our vulnerable neighbors as the lives depend on our actions.

Minimum Standard Protocols for Compliance

In Texas, businesses, customers, facilities, venues and most other services have been provided with checklists of procedures to follow in the course of a day with the threat of the coronavirus still looming.  Establishments are first being asked to train their staff on appropriate cleaning and disinfection, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette such as covering your sneeze or cough.  Employees and contractors must also be screened for signs of possible COVID-19.  This list of symptoms include cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, diarrhea or known contact with a person confirmed by a lab to have COVID-19.

Site Regulations in Dallas

In addition to the requirements designed for staff and guests to meet, offices, buildings and other facilities need to be aware of their own compliance standards.  Items as they come in contact with customers will need to be disinfected.  Hand Sanitizer stations will need to be added throughout stores, office buildings and warehouses.  Visible signage to remind everyone of best hygiene practices should be posted within their space.  For the retail sector, contactless payments are encouraged and where not available, contact should be minimized. Access to facilities and elevators as well as office layouts should be managed and controlled to keep all at least 6 feet of distance from each other.  Committing to these steps will keep these places in line with COVID compliance standards.

Resources to Draw From to Remain in Compliance

Managing consumer confidence through COVID compliance sanitizing represents the gold standard, or White House standard for stores and businesses.  Providing the required attention to sanitizing high touch surfaces during peak business hours represent unique challenges.  Additional manpower skilled in sanitizing and up to date on COVID compliance and best practices for preventing the spread of viruses may not be readily available on the current payroll.  Temporary agencies could be brought in to help implement a plan to frequently and efficiently sanitize the premise and keep the facility in compliance.

Seek Reputable, Innovative Help in Dallas

Trinity Event Staffing has been the leader in providing staffing services for events and the hospitality industry.  Trinity regularly provides staff for a wide variety of clients from local caterers, wedding venues to non-profits and schools.  Trinity now has a team of sanitizing specialists.  Their staff are vetted and trained on the strictest level of current COVID compliance sanitizing guidelines.  Trinity can be the solution to achieve the gold standard or White House standard in compliance.

Sources

open.texas.gov/

COVID Compliant Museums – New Challenges

While most museums were closed due to quarantines, the safely and security of the establishments was still a necessary undertaking.  Exhibition spaces and valuable objects may have needed additional attention or perhaps storage.  Staff caring for and cleaning exhibit spaces needed to be trained on disinfecting and aware of what products are approved for use in those areas.  Indoor public spaces pose a greater risk for the spread of COVID-19 due to restricted air flow.  Buildings needed to perform deep cleanings and also change their air filters following the outbreak of the coronavirus as a precautionary measure. 

Museums – Post Pandemic in Dallas

Most establishments including museums are overwhelmed by all the new guidelines needed to reopen safely in Texas following the COVID-19 outbreak.  The risk to visitors, volunteers and staff will need to be minimized and most critically, the confidence level of all three parties will need to raised.  Not all buildings and spaces are alike and city and state regulations differ throughout the country.  Thus, each museum will have to develop their own unique plan to open and stay compliant.  The new health protocols outlined in Governor Abbott’s Open Texas legislation will need to be adopted into all of our everyday practices.

Modifications to Remain Compliant Museums

Disaster plans and long term strategies of most establishments will most likely need some adjusting.  If not in place prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, museums will need to have a business continuation outline.  If the pandemic lasts long enough, some museums may have to modify their building structure to remain complaint.  Social distancing restrictions now in place limit the occupancy and thus impede the planned funds being contributed to keep these institutions running.  Layouts may need to be renovated to open up space and other galleries may need new systems for more healthy airflows.

Not All Museums Are No Touch

While displays at some museums are traditionally blocked off from visitors to touch, other exhibits are educational and interactive with high-touch equipment and displays.  All types of museums will have some common hurdles to tackle such as the rigorous cleaning and disinfecting of the surfaces frequently handled by visitors in all public foundations.  Disinfecting these areas will now need frequent, special attention.  This chore and other guidelines will be needed to keep up with the challenges to remain compliant.  These areas include door handles, railings, elevators buttons, rented wheelchairs, chairs and tables and bathrooms.

Choose a Partner to Remain a Compliant Museum in Dallas

Should a museum need to seek a vendor to assist with cleaning and sanitizing, they should look to a local staffing company with professional, insured and background checked contractors trained as sanitizing specialists.  Trinity Event Staffing has uniformed, reliable workers available for sanitizing high touch surfaces throughout facilities.  These staff members have been through extensive training and would have the knowledge of what a COVID compliant museum should be.  These contractor have studied the protocols outlined by the state of Texas.

Sanitizing Team on Duty

The staff with Trinity Event Staffing could be hired during business hours for sanitizing surfaces as visitors come in contact with them. The presence of cleaning staff seen on-site by your guests would tell everyone that you are concerned about their safety.   They could also assist with the enforcement of social distancing and wearing of masks should this be made a requirement at the museum.  This in turn, would alleviate some of their concerns with frequenting these exhibits and safeguard attendees from possible virus spread.  Keeping the establishment COVID compliant and the public safe are Trinity’s primary goals.

Sources

www.aam-us/programs/about-museums

news.art.net.com/art-world/museum-reopening-table

open.texas.gov

COVID Compliant Cleaning

COVID Compliant Cleaning in Dallas

The first steps in COVID compliant cleaning are to close off areas, increase ventilation (either by opening windows/doors or using ventilation fans) and wait as long as practical to give germs the time to dissipate. Properly trained cleaning staff should wear personal protection equipment and clean all areas, especially high touch surfaces like tablets, keyboards, door handles, chairs, etc. Gloves should be carefully removed, changed, and hands washed (for a minimum of 20 seconds following proper handwashing protocol) after cleaning each room or area. 

  • Hard surfaces should be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water. Most EPA approved household disinfectants on list N will be suitable as long as manufacturer’s instructions are followed concerning application and contact time. As cleaning supplies can be tough to find right now, diluted bleach solutions can be used by following proper mixing and application instructions (5 tablespoons (1/3 cup bleach per gallon of water or 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water). 
  • For soft (porous) surfaces like carpet, clean/launder with appropriate cleaners indicated for use on these surfaces. After cleaning, use EPA approved household disinfectant appropriate for surface material. 
  • For electronics such as touch screens and cell phones, remove any visible contamination and use alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol to disinfect touch screens. 
  • For linen/clothing (items to be laundered), do not shake dirty laundry and risk dispersing the virus in the air. Wash in the warmest appropriate setting and dry completely. Clean and disinfect hampers. 

Where Do We Go From Here?

Experts have described five phases of this pandemic: rapid spread, flattening, recovery, revitalization, restoration.  During the rapid spread period, as indicated by the name, the virus is rapidly infecting the population and there is a high number of patients being admitted to the hospital. During this phase, the majority of states issued stay at home orders and closed everything except essential businesses. During the flattening phase, the rate of infection and the number of patients admitted increases at a much slower rate, “flattening the curve”. This occurred a few weeks ago and Georgia and Texas entered Phase 1 of reopening the economy by allowing curbside pickup and delivery. During recovery, the rate of infection and the number of patients admitted is stable or declining. Texas has started to enter Phase 2 of reopening during this period. This includes restaurants increasing occupancy, salons, child care centers, and gyms reopening with reduced capacity and other safety precautions after a thorough COVID compliant cleaning. During revitalization,  the rate of infection and the number of patients admitted will continue to decline. Social gatherings, events and other business restrictions will continue to be lifted in phases as long as there is not a spike in cases. The final stage of restoration will not/cannot occur until there is a vaccine developed, medical professionals have found an effective treatment that is widely available or we have developed herd immunity. When that occurs, we will be able to fully reopen the economy and adjust to our new normal of life after COVID 19.