BICSc issues Coronavirus update

16 March 2020

As the situation around the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve, The British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc) has released the following update.

As we all continue to face an extremely challenging time, our industry, in particular, must play its part in helping to reduce the risk of the spread of the virus. 

The Institute is conscious that people are looking for answers to many commonly asked questions, for example:

What do we need to do to deep clean? 
After a confirmed outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) to ensure a deep clean, all substrates, fixtures, fittings, furniture (including soft) and other items in the area are disinfected (to protect the operative), then cleaned and finally re-disinfected

A deep clean will involve eight elements:

  1. Using the correct PPE, including following correct gowning and de-robing procedures for this equipment
  2. Isolation of the area to be deep cleaned
  3. Disinfection with the approved/correct disinfectant, paying special attention to touchpoints and high-risk areas as indicated by your risk assessment
  4. Thorough clean of the area in line with BICSc standards
  5. Clinical re-disinfection of the whole area
  6. Disinfection of machinery and equipment, if any are deployed
  7. Correct disposal of contaminated materials and PPE
  8. Shower/clean of cleaning operative(s) after completion of the task.

What can we use to kill the virus?

Whilst this will be considered to be a controversial statement, we (BICSc) have not seen any scientific evidence for any products that have been proven to kill the current strain of COVID-19. There is a long list of products out there that claim to kill Coronavirus, whilst there are indeed many lists out there of products that claim to kill the virus, we are not aware of the scientific research to back up these claims. 

So, what can we do? 

We should use the products that we would usually use for infection control.  This may sound like a contradiction, however with no hard-scientific evidence, and under the current circumstances, let's take some common-sense in our approach.

The advice of Public Health England is as follows; "a chlorine-based disinfectant should be used, in the form of a solution at a minimum strength of 1,000ppm."

What is BICSc doing to support the industry?

After much consideration, we have enhanced one of our training courses (SU2 Bio-Hazard Decontamination Cleaning). The standard version of this training course educates the candidate in the removal of substances from surfaces, which may be excessive and contain higher risks to the operative.  

As this standard course does not include CLINICAL DISINFECTION, which would be a requirement (as explained in our deep clean definition for this outbreak), we will be offering SU2 with an enhancement that covers the DISINFECTION process required. 
This 2-day training course will take place at the BBS Training Suite in Northampton.
For further details contact e: t: 01604 678 712. 

If you have not had an outbreak, in order to reduce the risk of spread of the disease:

  • Maintain BICSc cleaning standards within your organisation
  • Consider increasing the frequency of cleans, particularly of sanitary ware and heavy touchpoint areas
  • Ensure colour-coding is followed without exception.

BICSc will be closely monitoring the situation and will update their website with new information as and when it becomes available. 

Please also continue to look to the World Health Organisation and Public Health England for updates.