With hundreds of venues across Canberra from supermarkets, to bars, to nightclubs and aged care facilities being listed as Covid exposure sites, the work of deep cleaning companies has never been more important.
Yet as the ACT battles its second Covid outbreak, cleaning companies in the capital face an uncertain future, due to workers being unable to access the majority of their cleaning locations, such as office buildings and construction sites, due to the lockdown.
Spec Services managing director Katie Hale said while some aspects of the business have been busy since the start of the ACT's lockdown, others have had work dry up completely.
"It's a bit of a misnomer that cleaners are busier in this time, but a lot of the office buildings aren't being cleaned because no one is working there, and that's millions of dollars that cleaning companies aren't getting," Ms Hale said.
"Operationally, we work across a number of sectors in the ACT, and a lot of them have been hit hard.
"I wouldn't say we have amped up efforts since the lockdown, because some areas have gone into a rapid decline."
Some of the places the company has carried out deep cleaning at since the start of the lockdown include the Greenway Views retirement village and GG's Flowers.
In the case of Greenway Views, deep-cleaning efforts in the wake of the facility being listed as a site took several days to complete.
Arrangements are also in place with the company to carry out deep cleaning services at other venues, such as the ACT courts precinct in Civic, should it become an exposure site.
Ms Hale said while cleaning in the age of Covid meant highly touched surfaces were cleaned more thoroughly, deep cleaning took the process even further.
"With a preventative clean, you clean all the high-frequency areas like doors and benches and the backs of chairs," she said.
"Once there has been a positive case and there's an actual exposure site, then you have to clean every single surface."
A deep clean of a small space such as a bedroom can take up to two hours, while the deep clean of a larger location, such as Greenway Views, took a team of nine people three days to complete.
Ms Hale said tools such as electrostatic guns have made the deep cleaning process easier.
With many parts of the cleaning sector having to shut due to the lockdown, the managing director said many cleaning staff had to be redeployed to other parts of the business.
While deep cleaning services may make up the bulk of cleaning jobs for the foreseeable future, Ms Hale said she hoped there would be a return to regular business soon.
"At the moment, it's an uncertain situation, because we don't know when industries will open up as yet," she said.
"The lockdown could go either way for us, it could get really quiet or exponentially busy if construction and offices opens back up and spaces need to be cleaned."
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