High-Rise Building Management
March 20, 2020
Noticing & Communication
If a person were to be diagnosed with COVID-19, it is the responsibility of the confirmed case to notify your building. CDC and CDPH would not respond to the property to provide guidance on cleaning, closing, quarantine, or decontamination.
The CDPH is following up on any close contacts and they will be given appropriate information about next steps. Persons who were in the office space and have not been contacted by CDPH are free to continue business as usual.
Building operators are encouraged to open and maintain lines of communications with their tenants as it is likely that any confirmed case will notify their employer rather than building management.
It is important to keep in mind that ADA, FLSA, and HIPPA laws concerning confidentiality, accessibility and employment remain in effect regardless of a COVID-19 occurrence. Building operators should consult with their legal counsel for specific advice. Links to details about employment laws can be found at the BOMA/Chicago COVID-19 Resource Page.
Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection
Building operators should consult with their janitorial providers to determine and evaluate current cleaning practices. It is important to determine if the cleaning contractor is able to provide service in the event of a confirmed COVID-19 case or if a specialized vendor will need to be consulted.
For routine and preventative cleaning, CDC advises that products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims are expected to be effective against COVID-19 based on data for harder to kill viruses. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, etc.)
Increased high touch point cleaning using disinfectant cleaners such as Virex Plus should be employed to reduce the risk and spread of viral contamination. As an operational precaution, building operators should increase the cleaning frequency in high traffic areas, including lobby, security desk, entrances and elevators and sanitize commonly touched surfaces such as door handles, water fountains, elevator call buttons and handrails.
The guidance below provides recommendations on the cleaning and disinfection of rooms or areas where those with suspected or with confirmed COVID-19 have visited. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/cleaning-disinfection.html
Generally speaking, in dealing with COVID-19, HVAC systems operated in accordance with normal ASHRAE standards will be sufficient. ASHRAE has developed proactive guidance to help address coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) concerns with respect to the operation and maintenance of heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems. This webpage provides easily accessible resources from ASHRAE to building industry professionals. https://www.ashrae.org/technical-resources/resources