Editor’s Log: Disinfection Diaries

Toronto, Ontario — April 8, 2020 —There have been some mixed messages about the aims of disinfection during the Coronavirus pandemic. Fortunately, repairers appear to be leaning on the side of caution. Unfortunately, the attention being paid to the vehicle disinfection process may be distracting from a much bigger source of concern–idle bodies.

According to the Center for Disease Control, “Cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in households and community settings.”

Manitoba Public Insurance even outlined the areas of a vehicle most likely to be touched by clients, which should be prioritized regions for auto repairers to disinfect. In its list, the public insurer lists door handles, levers, switches, console buttons and knobs, seatbelt buckles, levers, latches, interior trim and hood panels.

However, the CDC says the spread of viruses from contaminated surfaces has not yet been documented.

It also says that, “Transmission of coronavirus occurs much more commonly through respiratory droplets than through fomites [objects and materials capable of carrying the viable infection, such as cloth and hard plastic surfaces].”

The collision industry is–it seems–sitting on the side of caution and conducting disinfections routinely. In fact, it is so important that two public insurers have agreed to pay for it to be done.

While this is worthy of applause, vehicle disinfections alone will not save auto repair facilities from becoming an infection nexus.

People are. The fewer the number of people, the better.

While many collision repair facilities have offered services that do not require people to sit in waiting rooms, an infected person who does enter public areas of the facility may leave a lasting mark.

“It is unknown how long the air inside a room occupied by someone with confirmed COVID-19 remains potentially infectious.”

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