Tribune Staff Writer

A local commercial cleaning company is stepping up in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Terrance Long, the president of Premier Cleaning Services, Inc., has been receiving an influx of calls from businesses that are concerned about the pandemic.

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“People have a lot of questions and we’re getting a lot of requests to come in and service facilities,” he said.

The Jenkintown-based cleaning company specializes in providing decontamination, disinfecting, water restoration and odor remediation services. The company serves commercial clients, including churches, gyms, office buildings, high-rise apartment complexes and restaurants.

The coronavirus crisis has caused many businesses to hone in on cleaning and disinfecting their offices and facilities.

“The dilemma is everyone is doing all of this disinfecting, but you really could be cross contaminating surfaces if you’re not doing it properly,” Long said.

He’s been educating his clients about best practices to prevent cross-contamination.

Long gave an example of how cross contamination can occur if someone cleans phones in an office with a reusable rag: “If that technician is using the same rag and they get to one phone and that person has the flu and you use that rag on someone else’s phone, you just contaminated that whole office.”

Long recommends that workers use disposable disinfecting wipes on surfaces in the office setting, and throw away the wipe after they use it on one item.

Premier CSI uses more high-tech equipment to eliminate germs and viruses, such as an electrostatic sprayer that wraps around critical touch points like door handles and light switches. These sprayers are often used to help reduce the spread of infections in hospitals and other facilities.

“We’re dealing with an invisible threat, so we take a scientific approach,” said Long, who has been in business for 20 years.

He said his company uses Purtabs, a chemical that can be used against the novel coronavirus.

“When we spray a surface and we leave it wet for one minute with this product, it can kill the virus,” Long said.

Recognizing that viruses such as the novel coronavirus also pose an airborne threat, Premier uses a machine that sanitizes or scrubs the air.

The company utilizes ATP testing, which is commonly used in the health care industry to assess the effectiveness of cleaning protocols in eliminating active biological contaminations from hard surfaces.

“I do a post-air quality test,” Long explained.

“I’m testing for any type of volatile organic compounds (chemicals that could have adverse health effects) and making sure we’re not putting them in the air.”

One of Premier’s long-term clients is the Canaan Baptist Church in Germantown. Last week, the company cleaned and sanitized the church’s sanctuary and day care classrooms that are used for Sunday School.

“Safety preservation for the congregants, visitors and friends is a top priority,” said Clifton Jones, Canaan’s director of operations.

“When we first started going into this COVID-19 situation, one of the first things I thought of was, ‘Can Premier come in here and sanitize?’”

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