PEI

Disinfection services busy since latest COVID-19 restrictions announced on P.E.I.

With several businesses ranging from restaurants to big retail stores recently labelled as potential COVID-19 exposure sites on P.E.I., things are getting busy once again for companies offering disinfection services.

Businesses are requesting cleaning as a precaution, even if they aren't exposure sites

Demand for basic cleaning services is down for one company, but calls for disinfection services are up. (CBC News)

With several businesses ranging from restaurants to big retail stores recently labelled as potential COVID-19 exposure sites on P.E.I., things are getting busy once again for companies offering disinfection services.

Jordan Fraser, owner of United Janitorial, said calls for disinfection services are up.

"We've also seen a substantial drop in generic cleaning, considering a lot of buildings are now shut down on P.E.I."

Fraser said that isn't entirely a bad thing — it means he is able to move staff who would be doing general cleaning to his disinfecting team to deal with the increased demand.

"We actually — going back to last year — began cross-training the majority of our employees for these exact scenarios," he said.

The company has been dealing with some of the businesses listed as possible exposure sites. Other customers are just worried, said Fraser.

This is just one type of electrostatic fogging gun being used to disinfect and protect against COVID-19. (Jeff Stapleton/CBC)

"We have been called out to some of the known exposure sites, but then we have also been called out to what we're calling precautionary disinfects," he said.

"Business who may not have had an active case at their location are just wanting to make sure they are doing all their due diligence by doing precautionary disinfecting." 

Fraser said he is booking into next week when it comes to disinfection services — but if new exposure sites come up, he said, things will only get busier.

On top of using fog to disinfect, Jordan Fraser says United Janitorial also uses a three-step spray and wipe down method. (Robert Short/CBC)

Two main methods are being used. The first is a "triple clean," where high-touch surfaces are sprayed with disinfectant and wiped down. Another is "fogging," using a type of backpack equipment for disinfecting, said Fraser.

"It takes one droplet of solution and it turns it into 10,000 droplets of a dry mist. It allows us to ensure an entire area is really disinfected completely."

Staff doing disinfecting work are supplied with full personal protective equipment, Fraser said.

United Janitorial isn't the only company on P.E.I. getting more calls for disinfecting.

FirstOnSite Restoration has also been busy, said Jim Mandeville, senior project manager with the company.

'They're really cleaning every nook and cranny very closely,' says Jim Mandeville, senior project manager with FirstOnSite Restoration. (FirstOnSite Restoration)

"We've actually seen a larger spike this past weekend than, you know, back to the original outbreak last spring," he said.

Mandeville said the company has received calls from grocery stores and other large Island businesses."What we are doing is more of a decontamination than a cleaning," he said.

"They're really cleaning every nook and cranny very closely, and then we are applying a disinfectant after that cleaning process to kill anything that may be left behind."

In terms of staff, the business is managing with the aim of completing cleanings in a single shift — but if things get overwhelming, Mandeville said his staff are listed as essential workers and members from other provinces could be brought in.

More from CBC P.E.I.

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