Help Prevent the Omicron COVID Variant or Future Pathogens from Shutting Down Your Critical Operations

How is the Omicron COVID Variant affecting facilities?

The COVID-19 pandemic shows no signs of stopping as the United States recently hit its highest single day of cases at 1,082,549 (John’s Hopkins University).  A comparison of how fast different variants of the virus have spread can help us understand this increase. According to The Lancet, the original strain of the virus that infiltrated countries around the world in March 2020 had an R0 (pronounced “R-naught”) of 2. This means that a person with the virus typically would spread it to around 2 other people. A study in the same journal states that Omicron has an R0 between 7 and 10. This has contributed to rising staffing shortages, which have put a massive strain on critical infrastructure within facilities.  Some hospitals have been forced to shut down entire units, and mass transit organizations, such as the Metropolitan Transit Authority in New York, have had to temporarily shut down multiple routes due to COVID-related crew shortages. Workforce shortages also mean fewer personnel to properly disinfect and can result in higher infection rates.  Other facilities, such as pharmaceutical manufacturing and processing, have returned to lockdown mode to try to prevent Omicron from stopping their critical operations.  

Actions Facilities Can Take to Help Prevent the Spread of the COVID-19 Omicron Variant

As cases continue to rise across the country, industries will be impacted and should have well-planned contingencies and disinfection protocols to account for the lack of staff and increased disinfection needs. This is especially important for those facilities where sterile environments must be maintained and processes must continue uninterrupted, such as healthcare, research, and Contract Manufacturing Organizations (CMOs) for pharmaceuticals. 

Prevention strategies can also be implemented to protect employees with measures like: 

  • Implement automated disinfection systems to conserve labor. 
  • Encourage employees to work from home whenever possible 
  • Require staff to stay home if they are feeling sick 
  • Disinfect all surfaces in the building
  • Focus on high-touchpoint areas like conference rooms, refrigerators, shared desks, etc.
  • Use an EPA-registered List N product, approved for the SARS-CoV-2 virus 

Are your current disinfection methods an unnecessary burden to your employees? 

The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged all facilities to level up their efforts in disinfecting surfaces to help protect staff and visitors. For many operations, this involves manual disinfection with common chemicals. While this can be done effectively, manual disinfection can lead to missing contaminated areas on the surface and leaving behind sticky residues where pathogens can hide. Furthermore, disinfection tools like mops and rags can spread microorganisms around, leading to more contamination.  Another concern for staff is being exposed to caustic and irritating disinfecting chemicals. Manual disinfection can be time-consuming and often pulls a staff member away from their traditional work to complete it. At a time when staff shortages are occurring frequently because of the omicron variant, this can be laborious. Automated disinfection is a more practical alternative that limits dangerous exposure for staff and helps solve staffing challenges. 

Limited Staff Means You Need Alternative Solutions That Involve Automated Disinfection 

The crippling shortage of employees due to the Omicron variant has become apparent in almost every industry and has further increased the need for safer disinfection methods like automated disinfection devices. Automated disinfection is an alternative to manual methods that allow hands-free disinfection, meaning it can be remotely started from outside of a contaminated room. The most common automated disinfection systems are UV light, vaporous hydrogen peroxide (VHP), and aerosolized hydrogen peroxide (aHP). These methods save facilities valuable time and finances by not having to allocate personnel to established disinfection protocols. Consistency over time is a principal factor to consider when selecting a disinfectant; however, manual methods cannot guarantee this and often fall short.  

Ideal Automated Disinfection Helps You Continue Critical Operations without Interruption 

CURIS System Hybrid Hydrogen Peroxide (HHP™) Fogging Devices are revolutionary, portable, and highly efficacious disinfection technology that utilizes a 7% hydrogen peroxide solution. This system protects staff members during the treatment by eliminating exposure to hydrogen peroxide gas, saving much-needed time.  

Validate Your Disinfection 

Unlike other manual disinfection methods, HHP™ disinfection can be validated using Geobacillus stearothermophilus biological indicators. These are high-level bacterial spores and CURIS System devices can achieve a 6-log reduction (99.9999% efficacy).  

Don’t Leave a Harmful Residue 

Since hydrogen peroxide naturally breaks down into water and oxygen, no harmful residues are left behind to harbor dangerous germs. Because of this, the solution has good material compatibility on almost every surface, unlike certain solutions associated with higher concentrations of hydrogen peroxide.  

Choose a System that is Easy to Implement 

The portability of the device allows it to be utilized in any facility from long-term acute care facilities to hospitals to pharmaceutical manufacturers and makes them ideal for controlling all forms of microbial contamination. CURIS System devices continue to be a trusted resource during the COVID-19 pandemic and will help combat challenges facilities face from Omicron.  

Learn more about Easier Disinfection in our last blog: Strategies for Overcoming Maintenance Staff Shortages During COVID-19 and Its Variants—Delta & Omicron.”

Or visit our blog on Evolution of the Perfect COVID Disinfection Fogger for more information.