Prep 101: Preparing for Cold and Flu Season During the Holidays

Preparing for Cold and Flu Season During the Holidays with Professional Cleaning by GSF USA

The holiday season is officially here, and with that comes the inevitable cold and flu season. This time of year increases foot traffic in many types of facilities. Between holiday shoppers in stores, family and friend gatherings at restaurants and festive celebrations at work, it’s important to prioritize the health and safety of others. As people gather this holiday season, leave germs out of the festive fun by ensuring your facility is taking necessary precautions toward minimizing their spread.

Increase Cleanliness Measures

During a time of year when germs spread more rapidly, ensure your facility’s cleaning routine is adequate with the influx in foot traffic this busy holiday season. Be mindful of how often certain areas of your facility need to be cleaned, and suggest implementing additional cleanings in highly populated areas. This includes public restrooms, facility floors and high-touch points such as door handles, railings and touch screens.

Many facilities take on seasonal staff for additional support during the holidays. Ensure seasonal employees, as well as full-time employees, have received proper training to meet today’s cleaning standards. Research shows that 64% of customers have not returned to a facility that did not meet their cleanliness expectations. This makes it essential to communicate any additional holiday cleaning protocols to your cleaning staff and make the health and safety of facility occupants a top priority.

Efficiency and Effectiveness

With increased facility cleaning measures, ensure your cleaning staff provides pristine results. Cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting are often used as interchangeable terms. However, there are significant differences in the results they provide and when misused, won’t effectively kill germs. Prevent improper cleaning by selecting the right chemicals and tools for your cleaning staff and ensure products are used for their intended purpose.

With an influx in foot traffic, it can be difficult to plan for additional cleanings. Working with your cleaning staff to create an efficient cleaning schedule can help ease the stress of reducing the spread of germs while keeping facility occupants safe. Tasks such as floor cleaning can quickly become a hazard with increased occupants walking around. Minimize the risks of slips and falls by scheduling certain routine cleanings during closed facility hours.

Outsourcing cleaning professionals is another efficient solution that allows proper cleaning catered to a specific schedule that works for your facility. Outsourced cleaning services can recommend and provide the best cleaning equipment for your specific floor and facility needs. This results in an effective cleaning solution that is also cost-effective and convenient.

Back to Basics: Hand Hygiene

Our hands collect a lot of germs throughout the day. Handwashing is a simple and effective solution that, when done properly, can remove up to 99% of germs and bacteria. Remind facility employees to clean their hands frequently during the busy holiday season and that it takes at least 20 seconds with soap and water to effectively kill germs. Encourage additional hand hygiene practices by providing hand sanitizer stations for occupants and employees to utilize throughout your facility.

Other solutions include placing hand hygiene signage in public restrooms or opting for touch-free technology in your facility to minimize high-touch points that harbor germs. Additionally, while increased staff is often needed during the holiday season, remind employees to stay home if they are sick to reduce the risk of spreading illnesses to other employees or occupants.

Have a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season

Don’t let cold and flu season stop your holiday cheer. Prepare your facility with an effective cleaning routine, proper training and hygiene practices to help keep occupants healthy and safe. Spread joy and not germs this time of year by making facility cleanliness a top priority.