Planet Earth with face mask protect. World medical concept. Elements of this image furnished by NASA.

Some are worried that the simultaneous presence of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Northern Hemisphere’s flu season could cause a situation where both health issues cause a rise in sickness in parts of the United States. To help offices, schools, healthcare facilities and other locations do there best during this possible stretch of time, Los Angeles-based commercial cleaning and janitorial company, Stratus Building Solutions has created a “Fight the Twindemic Battle Plan.”

A summary of Stratus Building Solutions’ plan is captured in the following seven step process:

1. Learn the difference between cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting.

Everybody in the cleaning industry should know that cleaning involves the removal of germs and dirt from surfaces, whereas sanitizing involves reducing the amount of bacteria found on a surface. To disinfect means to kill the bacteria and viruses on a surface.

2. Always clean first.

Surfaces should always be cleaned with soap and water or a cleaning product before sanitizing or disinfecting occurs.

3. Know what products to use.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s List N identifies what products work against COVID-19. Generally speaking, these same products will handle the flu.

4. Use different clothes for different work.

Clothes and other cleaning tools used in the bathroom should not be used in a foodservice area or in offices or classrooms, or vice versa. Microfiber clothes can pick up bacteria without the use of chemicals, but cotton clothes cannot.

5. Only wipe one way.

Don’t wipe in circles, but in one direction when cleaning and sanitizing.

6. Focus on certain surfaces.

The most important surfaces to clean and either sanitize or disinfect are those that are touched often.

7. Pay attention to indoor air quality.

When possible, try to bring fresh air into the facility by opening doors and windows. An air purifier with a HEPA filter also helps.