During the COVID-19 pandemic, it became harder to go to churches and crowded places without putting yourself and your family at risk of infections. Most worshiping places have been closed for many months to contain the spread of the disease.
But now that we have enough information and knowledge about the disease, we can still go to public places and take all the necessary precautions to ensure our and our loved ones’ safety.
With current talks of potentially reopening churches flying all over the news, it is very important that we move forward with all precautions possible before allowing worshipers to go back to churches.
We must start with following the proper church cleaning guidelines to make sure the area is always clean, disinfected, and safe for worshipers to come and go as they wish.
What Precautions Should be Taken in a Church?
As the CDC recommends for worshiping buildings, our priorities should be the following:
Lower all chances of exposure
For every state, there are strict guidelines or rules to follow to make sure we lower the chances of exposure to the virus. Worshipers should always avoid close contact with each other and avoid any gathering of a group of people together.
As well as practicing social distancing and committing to wearing masks properly, using hand sanitizers and avoiding any physical contact.
Promote Sanitizing Practices
Such as thoroughly washing hands, covering up mouths while coughing or sneezing, and following the state’s strict orders to always wear a face mask to reduce the spread of the virus.
Protect High-Risk Individuals
For certain groups of people, it might be extremely dangerous to get infected with COVID-19. Those groups include elders, people who have chronic diseases such as asthma, homeless people, detained or incarcerated individuals, and healthcare workers.
When it comes to the act of cleaning the church building, it is a bit different than any other facility as churches and worshiping facilities, in general, have high traffic and plenty of visitors every day. Therefore, we must follow the guidelines laid out by the CDC to avoid the spread of the virus.
Cleaning and Disinfecting Churches Guidelines
For cleaning churches, there are strict rules and guidelines to follow for each and every step of the cleaning process.
Probably the most important thing to keep in mind while cleaning churches is wearing disposable gloves while cleaning and disinfecting and not moving while wearing the same gloves from one area to another.
Surfaces must be always cleaned using water and soap, cleaning the areas that are frequently touched should be of high importance, those areas include chairs (pews), tables, light switches, door handles, doorknobs, desks, keyboards, sinks, relics, phones, toilets, and faucets.
Cleaning those areas is only the first step into making those areas safe for people to use, keep in mind that this process should be done more than once per day. Especially if the church has plenty of visitors coming in and out of it all the time.
Once you are done cleaning the surfaces, the next step is disinfecting those areas. You can check the EPA list of recommended disinfectants that are proven effective in eliminating the COVID-19 virus Here.
Make sure to always read the instructions written on the disinfectant and follow these instructions to ensure the safety and correct use of the product. Some products require staying on the surface for a specific amount of time before wiping clean.
For the safety of the cleaning staff, make sure to always wear gloves and always keep the area you are cleaning well-ventilated to avoid any fumes inhaling.
You can use household bleach if it was meant for disinfecting purposes, some bleaches are only intended for safe use on white and colored clothes and those are not suitable for disinfecting surfaces. Leave disinfecting bleach on the surfaces for at least one minute before drying.
Alcohol solutions can also be used to disinfect surfaces, the product should contain at least 70% alcohol. The starting alcohol must be between 90% to 100% alcohol, but after it’s diluted with water, it should be at least 70% alcohol in the final product (if you were mixing your own solution)/
When it comes to rugs, carpets, and drapes, you should always clean those surfaces with soap and water or with cleaning products intended for those surfaces. You can always choose to launder those fabrics according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Instructions for Laundry Cleaning
When doing the church’s laundry for drapes, carpets and other fabrics, make sure to use the warmest water setting possible and make sure to dry the fabric completely before using it again.
Always use disposable gloves and wear a mask if you are handling the laundry of someone who is unwell, but keep in mind that you do not need to wash them separately.
Ensure cleaning and disinfecting hampers, removing the gloves and mask before moving to the next task, and washing your hands right after finishing laundry.
When it comes to electronics such as touch screens, remotes, tablets, keyboards, and phones. Make sure to follow the instructions from the manufacturer for safe cleaning. If you are unable to find the instructions label, you can clean the electronics with alcohol-based wipes or sprays which contain at least 70% alcohol and dry completely after use.
Probably the most important thing to remember while cleaning a closed area is to keep the facility well ventilated at all times, this is to help shorten the amount of time which potentially infected respiratory droplets are removed from the air in the area you are cleaning.
Always make sure to wear a mask and gloves while cleaning any public space, as well as washing your hands thoroughly before and after cleaning.
General Precautions Whilst in a Church
- Make sure to always put away all hymnals, bibles, missals, and any other materials that are shared with other people in the pews to lower the risks of viruses spreading.
- Consider sharing the mass materials to congregants ahead of time electronically while continuing to have mission support online.
- To avoid contact and decrease the infection risks, make sure to empty and disinfect holy water fonts regularly.
- For the safety of the public, ask them to only bring the essential items along with them to the church, such as only keys or wallets, as well as advising them to clean and disinfect all items they bring with them after they are back home.
Outsource Your Church Cleaning Services
For the safety of all worshipers who go to the church regularly, regular cleaning is not enough to keep a public place with high traffic safe and healthy for visitors. Therefore, consider outsourcing the commercial cleaning services for your church, for professional, fast, and thorough cleaning.
This can help save you more money as the professional cleaning services bring their own equipment and their own supplies, meaning that you will always have a clean church, disinfected and safe for visitors at all times and at affordable prices.
During these tough times, going to the church and seeing everyone you know will make the pandemic less frightening to face. Make sure to always follow health and safety instructions to maintain your good health and the health of the ones you love.
If you want to read more about church cleaning then you should read this church cleaning guide.