COVID-19 has taken a toll across cities, states, and nations. As it continues to spread and change the way we view day to day life, understanding the best ways to sanitize equipment, ourselves, and the places we spend our time at is critical.
While many cities are on lockdown to try to prevent the rapid spread, we must do our part, too. That means protecting our well-being, as well as those around us, by following sanitization tips. The elderly seem to be at the greatest risk when it comes to COVID-19, so how can senior care communities help protect their guests?
The CDC offers a dedicated section for preventative measures you can take when it comes to working in nursing homes or helping out. With PDFs on risk management and proper handwashing techniques, you'll find a surplus of help. Suggestions include using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer right before touching a resident or medical device and washing with soap and water after caring for a person with known or suspected infections. This can help reduce the spread of illnesses like COVID-19, as well as others.
Outside of face-to-face contact, there are other times when you need to take cautionary measures to prevent the spread of germs. Say you work in the kitchen preparing meals for those elderly guests, if you're not washing your hands routinely you can cause them to get sick. Your hands need to be washed after touching the garbage, after coughing or sneezing, after wiping counters with chemicals and throughout the entirety of preparing food.
Additionally, cleaning more than your hands is a must! If you're in the kitchen, consistently clean the countertops and equipment. Using warm soapy water to clean your utensils and water with bleach to clean appliances can help prevent the spread of foodborne illnesses along with COVID-19. A clean space is a safe space to provide for the seniors in long term care, the faculty working, and visitors (if allowed during the spread of the virus). Always remember, after using liquid and chemical cleaners, use a clean towel to dry with and wash your hands.
With 15% of senior care residents having infections, germs are frequently spread from skin to skin contact. When you're not washing your hands after each interaction, this can spread to things like computer keyboards and sinks, countertops, and anything or anyone else you come into contact with. It's recommended that disposable gloves and gowns should be worn during the cleaning process as part of proper PPE. In addition to countertops, the CDC advises cleaning and disinfecting commonly touched areas such as tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, light switches, phones, tablets, touch screens, remote controls, keyboards, handles, desks, and toilets, sinks. This will ensure you don't take these bacteria with you or leave it for somebody else to pick up when touching an unclean surface.
The EPA has provided a suggested list of disinfectants to use against COVID-19. It is mentioned that when using these products the surface of the area you're cleaning must remain wet to be effective.
For more information on CDC recommendations and how to continue practicing proper sanitization methods, please check the CDC website.
At Lakeside, we pride ourselves on providing support and suggestions for the services impacted during this pandemic. We will continue to update methods for cleaning and disinfecting areas that you can utilize in your foodservice operation, as well as encouraging ways to help slow down the spread of COVID-19. Please contact us today if you have any concerns about how to properly sanitize your equipment.
Lakeside Has You Covered
We have compiled a list of product solutions to consider for healthcare foodservice in the age of COVID-19. With industry leading lead times and the ability to modify anything to fit your specific needs, Lakeside is your partner in healthcare foodservice solutions.