New COVID-19 Variant Puts The CINET International Hygiene Advisory Board On Alert

Viruses constantly change through mutation, and new variants of a virus are expected to occur over time. Multiple variants of the virus that causes COVID 19 have been documented in the U.S.A, Denmark, South Africa and other places in the world.

This week we have been alarmed by the mutant strain of the COVID 19 virus [Variant B.1.1.7] as now found in the South of the U.K. and London. Another variant [known as 501.V2] has been reported to be dominantly present in South Africa.

Initial studies suggest that the new variant[s] may spread more easily from person to person. Some re-assurance:  So far, there is no evidence that the mutations are affecting the course of the illness in infected patients or the effectiveness of COVID 19 vaccines in development.   Now we might ask ourselves:  How does this change in direction of the virus influence the laundry and dry-cleaning operations ?    The straight forward answer is that the protocols that are now in place don’t need to be updated. Having said that,  it has to be mentioned that the hygiene discipline has to be in place as never before.  With special emphasis on all aspects of the complete laundry operation where extra hygiene risks have to be minimised:

  • [Re]train laundry staff in the importance of all of below
  • Transport of infected linen.
  • Sorting with appropriate face mask.
  • Measure temperature of each staff member each day at entry point
  • Social distancing of all staff.
  • Hand hygiene

On has to be aware that coffee corners and canteens are areas where risk of spreading the virus is at its highest.

All of the above is an example why CINET decided installing a Hygiene Advisory Committee. And in the months to come you will see more activities of the committee members.

Outbreaks of other diseases will be on the radar of the team. This with the aim to inform you about the new potential hygiene risk[s] even before it might reach your country.