1. Ask your cleaning contractor to increase the frequency of cleaning and take special care to disinfect frequently used surfaces
Cleaning is an essential part of disinfection. The length of time that the COVID-19 virus survives on inanimate surfaces varies depending on factors such as the amount of contaminated body fluid – such as respiratory droplets – present and environmental temperature and humidity.
When cleaning your strata property during COVID-19 outbreaks, or having it cleaned by professionals, it is wise to clean the following frequently touched surfaces with a detergent solution:
- Door handles (front entrances, storage lockers, service or equipment rooms)
- Light switches
- Balustrades and railings
- Common area bathrooms, toilets, faucet handles, sinks and sanitary or nappy disposal bins
- Garbage areas (chutes, door handles, rubbish bin handles)
- Doors and surfaces such as tables, chairs, benches in the BBQ or entertainment area, for example
Other surfaces such as floors, ceilings and walls should also be cleaned more regularly during a health crisis.
Detergent solutions and wipes are adequate for cleaning general surfaces. You should direct cleaners to take extra care of floors when cleaning your strata property during a COVID-19 outbreak, especially if there are young children in the building as they are likely to touch floors.
Committees should ask their cleaning contractor to do the following:
- Refer to the Australian Government Department of Health Cleaning guide
- Send you their COVID-19 cleaning plan that outlines how they are handling the situation. For example, stipulate the requirements to maintain social distancing measures, and increase the number of cleans, length of clean, and what gets cleaned
- Provide their Safe Work Method Statement, which includes additional processes including Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and social distancing measures
- Practise social distancing in common areas and display signs or section off areas where they are expected to frequent
- Disinfect equipment before it is brought on-site
- Regularly sanitise hands, and disinfect door handles and other surfaces after they have completed work
- Bring their own pens if any signatures are required
Remember, the main obligation of an owners corporation or body corporate is to maintain common property. Committees should bear in mind their responsibilities when deciding whether to continue with works. Common areas must always be maintained to a standard that is safe for residents and guests.