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Businesses are reopening - what they should do to protect against viruses, harmful bacteria

Posted May 11, 2020 4:30 p.m. EDT

If you are reopening your space to the public soon, make sure you're protecting staff and customers against viruses and harmful bacteria. (Rido81/Big Stock Photo)

This article was written for our sponsor, 6 & Fix, Inc.

On Friday at 5 p.m., Gov. Roy Cooper's order went into effect to move North Carolina into the first phase of lifting coronavirus restrictions. This includes the reopening of some businesses, though social distancing, employee screenings and concerted cleaning efforts are strongly recommended.

When it comes to cleanliness, walls and surfaces are dirtier than you think, even during normal times. Germs and bacteria can build up in unexpected nooks and crannies and live for days at a time on surfaces and, unfortunately, homes and businesses can be breeding grounds for these unwanted visitors. Given the current climate surrounding coronavirus and cleanliness, businesses would do well to consider a disinfectant that properly and thoroughly sanitizes, and thus equips their staff and customers with optimal safety.

"We offer an indoor cleaning system with a product that's unlike anything else in the market. This product disinfects, but it also continues to maintain the disinfected surface for up to 90 days," said Nick Scarnecchia, president and owner of 6 & Fix, Inc.

6 & Fix provides comfort services such as HVAC maintenance and repair, indoor air quality purification, and indoor cleaning services to homes and businesses. This cleaning system has been used in hospitals, for airlines, and on cruise ships, but is now available for homes and local businesses.

"Businesses, when they reopen, won't have to be so worried about having to deep clean every hour knowing the protective layer this cleaning solution provides— especially right now when cleaning products are hard to come by in stores," Scarnecchia said.

6 & Fix uses an FDA, EPA-approved cleaning system that is non-toxic. This two-step system first modifies surfaces by disinfecting them, then "leaves durable, long-term antimicrobial protection that kills and inhibits the growth of problematic bacteria, fungi, algae, protozoans, viruses and other microorganisms that can exist on many surfaces," as the 6 & Fix website states.

"This cleaning system can be used on a full range of surfaces within an interior environment to render them cleaner, safer and healthier, enabling you to more confidently control contamination without negatively affecting people, the environment and the areas that have been treated," the website continues. "These EPA-registered technologies have been used in homes and businesses such as restaurants, doctors' offices, schools, daycares, gyms, hospitals, nursing homes, veterinary practices, salons, farms and vehicles."

The first step in the cleaning system is disinfecting the designated area with a solution that kills 99.999 percent of germs. The disinfectant kills several different types of bacteria and enveloped viruses such as:

  • SARS-cov2 and COVID-19
  • Influenza A (H1N9)
  • Herpes Simplex (HSV-1)
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type (HIV-1)
  • Norovirus (Feline Calicivirus as a surrogate)
  • Rotavirus
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • Staphylococcus Aureus
  • Salmonella enterica
  • Escherichia Coli (E. Coli)

The second step in the process is applying a protective layer that "creates a barrier" that continues to kill any microbe (bacteria, molds, viruses) that comes into contact with a surface. The antimicrobial technology "uses self-assembling monolayers to create a field of nanospikes that mechanically kill microbes by piercing and rupturing their cell membrane. This method prevents microbes from mutating and adapting, inhibiting the ability for superbugs to grow."

"It's safe for restaurants and areas that serve food and drinks. Additionally, it doesn't cause irritation to the skin or eyes," Scarnecchia said. "It's not like something you can buy from a store — if you spread bleach or Clorox on everything, then you're going to discolor surfaces for example. If somebody touches the surface, afterwards it's going to irritate their skin. And with a lot of ammonia-based products, respiratory irritation is a big thing."

Even though restaurants and bars are still only allowed to operate on a curbside pickup or take-out business model for right now until Phase 2 begins, Andrew Kopcsak, co-owner of Rudino's Sports Corner, is getting ready for when he can welcome guests back through his doors.

"We've had a good relationship with 6 & Fix in the past — they manage our HVAC system for us, so we were familiar with the team. When they presented this cleaning system opportunity, we jumped all over it," Kopcsak said. Rudino's Sports Corner underwent the 6 & Fix cleaning system last week and the whole restaurant was sprayed. "This was right up our alley, for once everything opens back up. Not only have we disinfected it, but we've protected it against future viruses. This cleaning system gives us 90-day protection. So heaven forbid, if an asymptomatic person came in, we would still have protection on our surfaces and such."

Kopcsak said it was important to opt for a serious sanitization method because it makes him more comfortable as a business owner who will have customers eating at his restaurant, as well as maintaining the health of staff and employees.

"This takes the worry out of the hands of customers because they will know that cleaning methods have been done by a professional company with the proper training and an actual process that has been done in a proper way," Scarnecchia added. "The task to sanitize has not been put in the hands of somebody that doesn't really have any formal training like a typical business owner or their employees."

Customers and employees will no doubt want to feel safe going into a business once they reopen. Knowing comprehensive and thorough cleaning and sanitization methods like the one 6 & Fix offers have been implemented will give patrons both protection and peace of mind. However, Scarnecchia is quick to emphasize this method alone should not take the place of routine cleaning.

"People don't need to be worried about 'washing away' the protection layer — it will still protect between cleanings. But businesses still need to be doing additional routine cleaning as a precaution," he said.

"We can't wait to reopen," Kopcsak added. "Obviously with takeout and to-go orders only, we're feeling the effects of the stay-at-home order, but we're excited to have people come in again and are ready to get back to a normal life."

This article was written for our sponsor, 6 & Fix, Inc.

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