Churchill Environmental, a division of soft FM services provider Churchill Group, has begun a Covid-19 swab-testing service to help organisations safely manage buildings and protect occupants pre- and post-lockdown.
The operations include testing surfaces and door handles for signs of SARS-Cov-2 – a strain of coronavirus that has caused the Covid-19 outbreak. The virus is predominantly transmitted through exhaled droplets from person to person, but it can also be spread from contaminated surfaces through everyday human activity or airborne droplets in building ventilation systems.
The virus can remain airborne for up to three hours and survive for days on some surfaces, so a carefully planned strategy to prevent its spread will play a key part in enabling facilities and property managers to reopen premises safely.
Churchill’s environmental services team of consultants and operatives will work with organisations on a twofold SARS-Cov-2 mitigation strategy: a professional swabbing service, followed by robust lab-based Covid-19 testing for positive samples.
SARS-Cov-2 swab tests have been developed to confirm the presence of the virus on environmental surfaces, such as door handles, work surfaces, ventilation system grilles and filters over a 25-square-centimetre area, using a sterile swab pre-moistened with phosphate-buffered saline.
These easy-to-administer tests will be taken, transported and analysed in accordance with World Health Organization protocols.
Test results and certificates confirming the absence or presence of the SARS-Cov-2 virus will be available 72 hours from receipt of the samples at the laboratory – plus a further 24 hours should an ID for Covid-19 be required following a positive result.
In addition to the swab-testing service, Churchill’s Covid task force has launched other solutions designed to offer peace of mind that work environments are safe to the highest standards. This includes enhanced hygiene regimes that will, in addition to professional swabbing, actively reduce the risk of spreading when employees return to the office.
Spencer Culley, managing director of Churchill Environmental, said: “Routine swab tests will help determine, monitor and ultimately strengthen the effectiveness of measures in place to protect the health and safety of building occupants, providing much-needed assurances for employees. As symptoms vary from person to person, and can remain hidden for some time, building managers will have to assume that any number of occupants coming back to work have the virus. So the ability to know when surfaces or touchpoints are contaminated will play a significant role in mitigating the spread of the virus and reducing the chances of a second wave.”
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