The UK government has changed its stance on tackling the Covid-19 pandemic, with new regulations coming into force on 13 May. But as we’re all told to ‘stay alert, control the virus, save lives’, there are some people who have limited scope to take action. Beyond hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, prisoners may not have the opportunity to take steps to stay alert. It’s also vital to protect the people who work in prisoners and probation services from risks in their everyday work. In this blog, we’re looking at how our prison deep cleaning and decontamination services can help to reduce risks for the prison population and staff alike.
Covid-19 in prisons represents a particular problem
In a total UK population of some 64.8 million, the number of prisoners in 2018 was just over 83,600 (0.13% of the population). But of course, for prison and police officers, the cleanliness of custodial facilities is vital for their health and safety at work. And when you bear in mind that the total number of prison officers, probation staff and police across the UK is upwards of 150,000, this issue affects a significant part of the population.
Unfortunately, there have been a number of reported cases of coronavirus in prisons across the UK. Although precise figures are difficult to come by, there have been up to 1,800 cases in UK prisons. Sadly, too, this has led to deaths attributable to Covid-19 among both prison staff and prisoners; it’s confirmed that 15 prisoners and 5 prison staff have died from the disease. Meanwhile, earlier plans to release up to 4,000 of the lowest-risk prisoners were shelved in mid-April. This means there are ongoing concerns about the status of prisoners and prison staff in cramped and sometimes overcrowded conditions.
First response prison deep cleaning and decontamination protocols
React is hugely experienced in cleaning custodial facilities, including police and prison cells, washrooms, toilets and custodial vehicles. We work with several police authorities, Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service, and their respective contract service providers to ensure the clean, safe and hygienic operation of their facilities. Prisons need an infection control protocol to immediately deal with a situation where someone has symptoms of Covid-19. As part of this protocol, we’re on call 24/7/365 to respond to such incidents nationwide.
As ‘first response’ cleaners in the event of a suspected case of coronavirus contamination in prisons, we respond with the latest technology to meet the challenge. We follow a simple methodology, with a process of ‘test, clean, disinfect and test again’. We swab and test a number of high-touch areas for traces of pathogen. We initially test an area to understand the levels of exposure to pathogens. We then clean and disinfect with the most appropriate equipment and chemicals for the property. We’ll deploy Ultra Low Volume ‘fogging’ (ULV) or ionised spray as appropriate. Finally, we test again to be certain the pathogen has been inactivated and removed.
Regular prison deep cleaning and decontamination remains critical
For regular prison deep cleaning and decontamination, we are no less thorough. We’ll follow the same methodology of ‘test, clean, disinfect and test again’. The results of testing will determine what cleaning method needs to be applied. If testing comes back negative, this could be a ‘spring-clean’ approach, wiping down and sanitising all surfaces and high-touch areas. Alternatively, if there are any residual pathogens, it may require a more thorough deep clean and decontamination. High-touch areas will be wiped down with a neutral pH cleaner to remove dust and dirt into which the virus can be absorbed. This is then followed by the application of an effective disinfectant, of which there are several options on the market. And of course, we’ll work throughout to minimise the disruption to the normal routines of the prison.
Working to protect prison staff and prisoners
As React continues to grow in strength, we’re here to help a range of organisations to limit the risks of coronavirus spreading. Across prisons in England and Wales, we’ll help protect prisoners and the people who work with them. We leave it up to the prisons themselves to encourage good hand hygiene and enforce social distancing where possible. But we provide another important pillar in controlling the spread of the virus, by providing first response and regular prison deep cleaning and decontamination. #PrisonDeepCleaning #Decontamination #FirstResponse #SpecialistCleaning #REAT
For more information about prison deep cleaning and decontamination, contact one of the team today.
Post by Shaun D. Doak
Shaun is the CEO of React Group plc., a business dedicated to specialist cleaning, hygiene and decontamination. He is deeply committed to making sure that every one of our company’s clients receives the highest possible level of service. An expert in HVAC and commercial and industrial cleaning methodologies, Shaun has extensive experience in the facilities management and renewable services sector.