Cleaning and disinfecting your camp facility during COVID-19 pandemic
Developing a plan for cleaning your camp should you reopen will take planning, commitment to a process and documentation of that process. To prepare for a potential reopening; it is important to know how long the virus remains on surfaces. If your business has been unoccupied for 7 days or more, it may only need your normal routine cleaning to reopen the area. This is because the virus that causes COVID-19 has not been shown to survive on surfaces longer than this time, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
The following results of how long the virus may last on surfaces are provided by WebMd.
Aluminum (2 to 8 hours)
Examples: soda cans, tinfoil, water bottles
Cardboard (24 hours)
Examples: shipping boxes
Ceramics (5 days)
Examples: dishes, pottery, mugs
Copper (4 hours)
Examples: pennies, teakettles, cookware
Coronavirus doesn't seem to spread through exposure to food. Still, it's a good idea to wash fruits and vegetables under running water before you eat them. Scrub them with a brush or your hands to remove any germs that might be on their surface. Wash your hands after you visit the supermarket. If you have a weakened immune system, you might want to buy frozen or canned produce.
Glass (Up to 5 days)
Examples: drinking glasses, measuring cups, mirrors, windows
Metal (5 days)
Examples: doorknobs, jewelry, silverware
The length of time varies. Some strains of coronavirus live for only a few minutes on paper, while others live for up to 5 days.
Plastics (2 to 3 days)
Examples: packaging like milk containers and detergent bottles, subway and bus seats, backpacks, elevator buttons
Stainless steel (2 to 3 days)
Examples: refrigerators, pots and pans, sinks, some water bottles
Coronavirus hasn't been found in drinking water. If it does get into the water supply, your local water treatment plant filters and disinfects the water, which should kill any germs.
Important reminder about water. As a result of COVID-19 pools and other water resources may not be in use at this time. Stagnant or standing water can cause conditions that increase risk for Legionella and other bacteria. Find more information on steps to take before re-opening your business and building.
Wood (4 days)
Examples: furniture, decking
Coronaviruses can live on a variety of other surfaces, like fabrics and countertops. One study tested the shoe soles of medical staff in a Chinese hospital intensive care unit (ICU) and found that half were positive for nucleic acids from the virus. But it’s not clear whether these pieces of the virus cause infection. The hospital’s general ward, which had people with milder cases, was less contaminated than the ICU.
Because COVID-19 is a new virus, researchers still don't know whether exposure to heat, cold, or sunlight affects how long it lives on surfaces. It is also still unknown how much of the virus it takes to cause an infection. According to WebMd, you are probably more likely to catch it from being around someone who has it than from touching a contaminated surface.
The process of keeping your camp clean will be a challenge, but using routine, thorough practices will help you develop consistent protocol for meeting that challenge.
The CDC also provides comprehensive guidelines to support everyday steps for cleaning and disinfecting, steps when someone is sick, and considerations for employers.
*Markel Specialty is a business division of Markel Service, Incorporated, the underwriting manager for the Markel affiliated insurance companies.