Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak Update

An illustration of the structure the newly identified coronavirus, now named COVID-19. The image was created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Article by Argus Cleaning Systems


The novel coronavirus 2019 (now called COVID-19) is a respiratory illness caused by a new virus. Symptoms range from a mild cough to pneumonia.


As of 06:30 hrs on March 2nd, 2020 there have been 29 confirmed cases of COVID-19, in Australia. Around the world, COVID-19 has infected more than 88,000 and killed almost 3,000 people. The majority of cases have been reported in mainland China; however 6,689 cases have been reported from 64 countries outside mainland China.


There is evidence that the virus spreads from person-to-person, and is most likely spread through:

  • Close contact with an infectious person
  • Contact with droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze
  • Touching objects or surfaces (like doorknobs or tables) that have cough or sneeze droplets from an infected person, and then touching your mouth or face


What should we do to avoid the virus spreading, and how should we clean and disinfect spaces where an ill individual may have been?  All people now need to observe the proper practices for avoiding contact with viruses.


These are:

  • Wash your hands often
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when you can’t wash your hands
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough with a tissue or shirt sleeve, not your hands
  • Avoid close contact with others, such as touching
  • Keep your distance from those who are ill (1 metre from anyone coughing or sneezing)
  • Stay home if you feel ill
  • Clean and disinfect busy touchpoints such as door handles, toys, handrails etc. especially if someone is sick


According to the Australian Government Department of Health, to minimise the spread of any germs you should regularly wash surfaces that are frequently touched such as door handles, light switches, kitchen and bathroom areas. Clean with an effective detergent or disinfectant.


When cleaning, staff should minimise the risk of being infected with coronavirus by wearing gloves and using alcohol-based hand sanitiser before and after wearing gloves.


If cleaning rooms or areas of the workplace where a person with a confirmed case of coronavirus or a person in isolation has frequented staff may wish to wear a surgical mask as an added precaution.


If a confirmed case of coronavirus or a person in isolation is in a room that cleaning staff need to enter, they may ask them to put on a surgical mask if they have one available.


Cleaning chemicals that are expected to be effective on the coronavirus:

  • Bleach
  • Alcohol Sanitiser


The CDC (Centre for Disease Control) in the US recommends that people use either an EPA-registered household disinfectant or 1/100 household bleach to disinfect surfaces contaminated with corona virus (Reference: CDC’s Guideline for Disinfection and Sterilization in Healthcare Facilities, 2008).




For national updates:

For international updates:



Coronavirus Update ed 01 – 05-03-20


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