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Even with a Covid vaccine, the standard of clean should never fall again

Earlier this week, pharmaceutical manufacturing company Pfizer announced that the trials of their COVID-19 vaccine had had positive early results. For a virus that has killed over 1.2 million people globally at the time of publication, this news came as a relief to the world at large. When the vaccine is ready to be distributed publicly, it will no doubt give peace of mind to many. But that doesn’t mean our standard of clean should change.

Vaccines generally require years of research and development, but at the start of the pandemic, we saw scientists racing to develop potential prevention for the pandemic that has ravaged millions across the globe. Researchers are testing 52 vaccines in clinical trials on humans, and at least 87 preclinical vaccines are under active investigation in animals. Human trials began in March and some trials have been slowly beginning to reach the final stage of testing. As the global race to be the first country with a successful vaccine grew, Pfizer and German company BioNTech worked together to learn more about the COVID-19 genome and develop a vaccine. By early November, it was announced that their Phase 3 trials for the vaccine candidate was found to be “more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 in participants without evidence of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection in the first interim efficacy analysis.” Dr. Albert Bourla, Pfizer Chairman and CEO said in the press release on November 8th, 2020:

"Today is a great day for science and humanity. The first set of results from our Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial provides the initial evidence of our vaccine’s ability to prevent COVID-19. We are reaching this critical milestone in our vaccine development program at a time when the world needs it most with infection rates setting new records, hospitals nearing over-capacity and economies struggling to reopen. With today’s news, we are a significant step closer to providing people around the world with a much-needed breakthrough to help bring an end to this global health crisis. We look forward to sharing additional efficacy and safety data generated from thousands of participants in the coming weeks."
Dr. Albert Bourla
Pfizer Chairman and CEO

With the promising possibility that there may soon be a vaccine available to the general public the question becomes less about how we will prevent COVID-19 through medicine, but now how we will be able to continue the standard of clean that has become so important in slowing the spread. We’ve heard time and time again about the “new normal” and it would be remiss to not include the standard of clean under this umbrella.

As the Real Estate Management Industry points out, “The cleaning requirement of the moment is to fight COVID-19. The opportunity of the moment, born of tragedy, is to future-proof cleaning against the next pandemic. Now is the time to do both.” They offer an extensive list of ways to “future-proof” cleaning, including reconfiguring cleaning specifications, continuing to disinfect and increasing frequency, and validating competencies, whether they be technological or staff related. By putting cleaning at the forefront of our “future-proofing,” we can not only slow the spread of this pandemic through a higher standard of clean but hopefully prevent another one. But how can you ensure that there’s enough oversight in your business to focus on reopening and growing your business or industry?

There are a few ways to work on oversight in order to ensure proper cleaning protocols in the future. The easiest way to do this is through oversight. In an NIH-funded study of hotel housekeepers, it was found that “passive observation resulted in a significant improvement in housekeeper disinfection… A further significant reduction occurred with direct supervision and real-time feedback, suggesting that optimal disinfection is achieved by working closely with housekeepers.” Organization is also key in making sure that oversight is implemented properly. Take for example a facility. Knowing the space, and communicating that space properly to cleaners, is the key. A study called “Cutting Costs and Improving Outcomes for Janitorial Services” found that “buildings waste as much as 20% of their cleaning budget by not having clear checklists for cleanable areas. The problem goes even further with re-cleanings, which can be reduced by up to 76% with more specific checklists.” By making sure that cleaners have a direct set of guidelines and specific maps of areas that need to be cleaned, businesses can ensure that spaces are being cleaned properly and without wasting money.

Tulu’s software is based around this idea of oversight. For managers, we offer the ability to remotely manage cleaners and provide real-time feedback in cleaning. For cleaners, we offer easy to read task lists and messaging that ensures their job can be done easily and properly the first time. We even offer live auditing services in real-time for business owners who don’t have a management team or the time to audit cleaning jobs. In the future, cleaning will become a necessity to ensure the safety of employees and customers alike. Together, we can all “future-proof” the world to keep another pandemic at bay.