Fight the Bug

We’re always hearing about flu prevention, especially in northeast Ohio – from constant reminders to get the flu shot to avoiding close contact with sick people and staying home when we’re sick, we’re definitely familiar with the steps to take for avoiding the bug.

Yet even though we take these steps, make sure to cover our mouths and nose when coughing or sneezing, wash our hands often, and avoid touching our eyes, nose or mouth – people still get sick every season.

  • According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
  • 5%-20% of Americans will come down with the flu each winter
  • $4.6 billion is the annual direct medical costs of treating influenza in the U.S.
  • Up to 111 million workdays are lost due to flu
  • $7 billion per year lost in sick days and workplace productivity
  • 200,000 hospitalizations each year resulting from the flu
  • 23,000 people killed by influenza each year in the U.S. on average
  • 58% of hospitalizations last season occurred in adults age 65 years and older
  • $855.68 is the average amount of wages lost due to missing shifts

The impact of the flu on workplaces and employees is profound – yet we don’t always know when we could be spreading this nasty virus to our co-workers or others. Symptoms of the flu can begin about 2 days (but can range from 1 to 4 days) after the virus enters the body. This means the flu can be passed on before someone even knows they are sick. Additionally, some people can be infected with the flu virus but have no symptoms, so they continue going to work and spreading the virus to others.

Keep it Clean

Regular and thorough cleaning of the workplace is essential for flu, virus and infection control, in addition to standard precautions like modifying personal behaviors and enforcing company sick policies. Once flu and virus germs are spread by infected people, these germs spread anywhere people go, so facility-wide cleaning strategies must thoroughly disinfect and not just surface clean.

One key maintenance cleaning area for infection control is the bathroom – including floors, bathroom sinks, toilets and drains. In the bathroom, access to automatic dispensers, like no-touch water, soap and paper towel dispensers, also encourage hand washing and help to keep the spread of germs to a minimum.

Hospital-Grade Cleaning Products

Four Corners uses EPA-registered, hospital-grade cleaning products to get the desired clean without leaving behind airborne and surface-bound residual chemicals. Taking steps to prevent cross-contamination between areas is important for preventing the spread of viruses in the workplace so the microfiber rags we use to clean surfaces are color-coded to prevent cross-contamination between areas.

To reduce the risk of the spread of viruses, it’s also a good idea for employees and visitors to have access to no-touch wastebaskets, soap and water, disposable towels, alcohol-based hand wipes, and cleaning and sanitation materials. These items should be located in prominent locations like lobbies, halls, and restrooms to encourage their frequent use.

Breakrooms are another key area for staying healthy during flu season. Breakrooms are where people gather and where food is consumed, which means stocking them with antibacterial soap, water and clean scrubbing brushes can help prevent the flu or other viruses from spreading. Since food consumption in workspaces helps grow and spread bacteria and fungus, encourage employees to limit their consumption of food to the breakroom.

Routine Disinfection of Surfaces and Objects

Four Corners provides effective maintenance cleaning for breakrooms which includes disinfecting countertops, walls, floors and equipment. We also provide regular maintenance cleaning for office common areas and office equipment. From routine disinfection of desk surfaces to computer keyboards, mice, doorknobs, phones and faucets, the CDC recommends daily sanitizing of surfaces and objects that are touched often. Many of these items could be touched or in close proximity to flu-infected workers.

Four Corners Cleaning uses a wide range of cleaning products to help control workplace flu germs. Products include disinfectants, drain cleaners and maintainers, disinfectant wipes and germicidal wipes, and mops, squeegees and buckets. From maintenance cleaning to help control the spread of flu and other viruses to keeping your floors shiny and your windows glistening, Four Corners offers a wide range of cleaning and floor care services that will have your business looking great – and your employees feeling great, too!