DENVER (CBS4) – Cleaning up an office, restaurant, or building believed to have COVID-19 is a feat equivalent to a hazardous materials response.
“We’re fighting something you can’t see. And you’re not going to know the people did a bad job (cleaning) until you get sick,” said Erick McCallum, the founder of CG Environmental.
McCallum opened his operation in Colorado about three years ago. The company specializes in keeping places clean during the coronavirus pandemic, because it’s one of the only companies in the state that trains its employees in infectious disease mitigation.
“We’re decontaminating establishments, whether it be commercial buildings, 911 centers, the things that can’t close.”
Crews are covered from heat to toe and use a fogging device with an anti-viral cleaning compound. They focus on touch points like hand rails, light switches, and door handles but can also coat offices including chairs, tables and computers.
“When you hand wipe things, you cross contaminate. If you’re touching something and wiping, and then wiping something else, and wiping something else, you’re just spreading. You’re smearing things around. Our goal is to kill the virus. We want to kill the virus so that way, if you touch a surface, you’re not going take it home to your family, you’re not going to touch your face and get it,” McCallum said.
McCallum says calls are up, and believes he’ll still be getting more business despite stay-at-home orders.
“We’ve got to get in front of this. This is a bad deal we’re dealing with right now. I don’t think everybody understands how bad it is,” he said.
The process for crews to decontaminate is almost more rigorous than suiting up and cleaning. A three-step-process of spraying teammates down with a neutralizing agent, then soapy water, and stripping off the suit is done with precision. McCallum says it’s essential to keep his employees safe so they can clean more locations.
“It’s our life, we have a family to get home to,” he said.