International Janitorial Cleaning Services Association

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IJCSA Updates & Industry News

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  • 23 Sep 2021 6:21 AM | IJCSA - (Administrator)

    Israel was the first country on Earth to fully vaccinate a majority of its citizens against COVID-19. Now it has one of the world's highest daily infection rates — an average of nearly 7,500 confirmed cases a day, double what it was two weeks ago. Nearly one in every 150 people in Israel today has the virus.

    The good news is that among Israel's serious infections on Thursday of this week, according to Health Ministry data, the rate of serious cases among unvaccinated people over age 60 (178.7 per 100,000) was nine times more than the rate among fully vaccinated people of the same age category, and the rate of serious cases among unvaccinated people in the under-60 crowd (3.2 per 100,000) was a little more than double the rate among vaccinated people in that age bracket.

    The bad news, doctors say, is that half of Israel's seriously ill patients who are currently hospitalized were fully vaccinated at least five months ago. Most of them are over 60 years old and have comorbidities. The seriously ill patients who are unvaccinated are mostly young, healthy people whose condition deteriorated quickly.

    More at source: NPR

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  • 22 Sep 2021 9:40 AM | IJCSA - (Administrator)

    More than 20,000 janitors across California ratified a new contract over the weekend that for many workers includes a $20 an hour minimum wage and an employers’ contribution to a union pension plan by 2023.

    The statewide contract for janitors who clean professional office buildings in California — including spaces for companies such as Apple and Visa — comes after weeks of rallies. Workers had worked without a contract since the end of August.


    “We won what all essential workers deserve, fair wages that acknowledge our sacrifices, benefits that allow us to care for our families, and the chance to retire when we get too old to work. We are so pleased that the membership ratified this contract, and we are ready to fight for more,” Anabella Aguirre, a Los Angeles janitor and a member of SEIU United Service Workers West’s bargaining committee, said in the union’s statement.

    More at source: Sacramento Bee

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  • 17 Sep 2021 7:03 PM | IJCSA - (Administrator)

    Press Release

    For Immediate Release: Friday, September 17, 2021
    Contact: Media Relations
    (404) 639-3286

    Today, the Biden-Harris Administration announced a $2.1 billion investment to improve infection prevention and control activities across the U.S. public health and healthcare sectors. The Biden-Harris Administration, working through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is investing American Rescue Plan funding to strengthen and equip state, local, and territorial public health departments and other partner organizations with the resources needed to better fight infections in U.S. healthcare facilities, including COVID-19 and other known and emerging infectious diseases.

    The funding announced today is a commitment that will allow the United States to expand public health and improve the quality of healthcare in our country, including addressing healthcare-related inequities. It will assist healthcare personnel to prevent infections more effectively in healthcare settings, support rapid response to detect and contain infectious organisms, enhance laboratory capacity, and engage in innovation targeted at combating infectious disease threats. Improvements in infection prevention will span the healthcare continuum, including 6,000 hospitals, 15,400 nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, 7,900 dialysis clinics, and 4,700 ambulatory surgery centers, and will extend to other outpatient settings.

    “This funding will dramatically improve the safety and quality of the healthcare delivered in the United States during the pandemic and in the future,” said CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, M.D., M.P.H. “Funding will provide significant resources to our public health departments and healthcare systems and opportunities to develop innovative strategies to protect every segment of the U.S. population, especially those disproportionately affected by the pandemic, at a time that they are hit hard.”

    Additionally, these investments will help address the rise of healthcare-associated infections, which increased as U.S. hospitals were inundated by COVID-19—reversing national progress seen prior to the pandemic.

    Over the next 3 years, CDC will issue $1.25 billion of the total to 64 state, local, and territorial health departments to support this work. Initial awards totaling $885 million will be made in October 2021 to these jurisdictional health departments. CDC will use the majority of this initial funding in October, $500 million, to support a new force in the fight against COVID-19 to protect our most disproportionately affected population:

    • State-based nursing home and long-term care strike teams. This funding from CDC, in partnership with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), will allow state and other jurisdictional health departments to staff, train, and deploy strike teams to assist skilled nursing facilities, nursing homes, and other long-term care facilities with known or suspected COVID-19 outbreaks. The strike teams will allow jurisdictions to provide surge capacity to facilities for clinical services; address staffing shortages at facilities; and strengthen infection prevention and control (IPC) activities to prevent, detect, and contain outbreaks, including support for COVID-19 vaccine boosters.

    The remaining $385 million to be awarded in October 2021 will go to state, local, and territorial health departments to strengthen five critical areas:

    • Strengthening state capacity to prevent, detect, and contain infectious disease threats across healthcare settings: CDC will provide significant infection prevention and control assistance to public health departments to work with healthcare facilities to improve the quality of healthcare; strengthen interventions for the prevention and containment of infectious diseases to minimize the spread of infection in a variety of healthcare settings; identify, address, and monitor healthcare-related disparities and health equity; and increase capacity to investigate outbreaks of healthcare-associated infections.
    • Laboratory capacity for healthcare: Funds provided will also increase state and regional laboratory capacity to conduct surveillance for emerging pathogens to better identify patients infected with or carrying infectious disease threats, such as antibiotic-resistant germs like “nightmare bacteria” carbapenem-resistant Enterobacterales (CRE) and Candida auris. Throughout the pandemic, there have been outbreaks of antibiotic-resistant pathogens in COVID-19 units and other healthcare settings.
    • Project Firstline: Funds will expand on efforts to design and implement effective infection prevention and control training and education to frontline healthcare staff, leveraging a unique collaborative of healthcare, public health, and academic partners. Project Firstline aims to meet the various education needs of its diverse healthcare workforce; ensure they have the knowledge they need to protect themselves, their coworkers, and their patients; and develop training and education that addresses disparities across U.S. healthcare personnel. In its first year, CDC’s Project Firstline and its partners developed more than 130 educational products and hosted more than 200 educational events on infection prevention and control, engaging approximately 16,300 healthcare workers from professions ranging from environmental services workers, to nurses, to physicians. Its infection prevention and control messages reached millions of individuals through more than 1,700 social media posts shared on CDC and partner channels.
    • National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN): CDC will increase data and monitoring through NHSN to determine where and when infections occur in healthcare settings and target IPC interventions. Funds will support state efforts to improve the NHSN data collection from healthcare facilities. This includes state coordination, expansion in reporting, and providing greater technical assistance to facilities that are reporting healthcare quality and preparedness-related data.
    • Antibiotic Stewardship: Funds will support state data analyses of antibiotic use and implement programs to improve antibiotic prescribing across communities, including addressing health disparities related to antibiotic use. Despite being ineffective against COVID-19, antibiotics have been commonly prescribed to patients during the pandemic, increasing the risk of antibiotic resistance.

    In addition to amounts provided to state, local and territorial health departments, $880 million will be used over several years to support healthcare partners, academic institutions, and other nonprofit partners to develop new prevention interventions and capacities for infection prevention and control training, data collection, and technical assistance.

    More at the CDC 

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  • 14 Sep 2021 11:37 AM | IJCSA - (Administrator)

    COVID-19 deaths and cases in the U.S. have climbed back to levels not seen since last winter, erasing months of progress and potentially bolstering President Joe Biden’s argument for his sweeping new vaccination requirements.

    The cases — driven by the delta variant combined with resistance among some Americans to getting the vaccine — are concentrated mostly in the South.

    FILE - In this Sept. 14, 2021, file photo, a syringe is prepared with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic at the Reading Area Community College in Reading, Pa. COVID-19 deaths and cases in the U.S. have climbed back to where they were over the winter, wiping out months of progress and potentially bolstering President Joe Biden’s case for sweeping new vaccination requirements. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

    While one-time hot spots like Florida and Louisiana are improving, infection rates are soaring in Kentucky, Georgia and Tennessee, fueled by children now back in school, loose mask restrictions and low vaccination levels.

    The dire situation in some hospitals is starting to sound like January’s infection peak: Surgeries canceled in hospitals in Washington state and Utah. Severe staff shortages in Kentucky and Alabama. A lack of beds in Tennessee. Intensive care units at or over capacity in Texas.

    More at source: AP News

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  • 07 Sep 2021 5:30 AM | IJCSA - (Administrator)

    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Florida’s COVID-19 death toll has risen by 1,064 since Friday, according to the latest data from the CDC posted Monday.

    Those fatalities didn’t all happen over the weekend — many of the deaths are backlogged and go back weeks — but they reflect the toll this summer surge has had in the state.

    Photo does not have a caption

    More than 6,600 people died with COVID-19 in Florida in August, an average of more than 213 people per day, and there may still be more August fatalities to be added. Already it is the deadliest month of the pandemic in the state.

    Since the start of the outbreak, the state has confirmed 3,354,836 COVID-19 cases and 46,973 deaths connected to the virus.

    Florida reported 46,105 new COVID-19 cases since Friday, the latest CDC metrics show.

    These numbers reported by the CDC come from the Florida Department of Health, which only releases a public report with its COVID-19 data weekly on Fridays.

    More at source:

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  • 30 Aug 2021 4:12 PM | IJCSA - (Administrator)

    When To Clean Solar Panels

    There isn’t an established cadence that’s recommended for solar panel cleaning. Some people do it, others don’t. The only time you truly need to consider cleaning your solar panels is if they’ve accumulated a lot of bird droppings on them. In general, rain is enough to keep debris like dirt, dust and grime from building up on your solar panels.

    Worried about a reduction in efficiency from dirty solar panels? Most professionals say you shouldn’t be. Since most solar panels are installed on a slant, debris simply runs off during rainstorms. It’s estimated that you may only see about a 5% reduction in efficiency if your solar panels aren’t clean, and that may improve as rainwater cleans them.

    How To Clean Solar Panels

    Safety Considerations

    Since solar panels are installed on your roof, there are plenty of safety precautions to be aware of when cleaning solar panels. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

    • Avoid going up high: Probably the best(and safest) way to tackle the job of cleaning solar panels is to use a tool like a broom or sponge with a long handle. A telescoping rod allows you to reach your solar panels without having to get on the roof. This, of course, will work better for a one-story home than it will for a three-story home. So if that’s not possible, and you find you need to go on the roof, it’s best to take some precautions.

    More at source: Forbes

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  • 24 Aug 2021 9:31 AM | IJCSA - (Administrator)

    Spooky season is starting early this year with TikTok's latest obsession: gravestone cleaning. 

    For Caitlin Abrams, a software developer in Vermont who volunteers to clean gravestones in her spare time, working alongside the dead is a "therapeutic" escape. 

    "The other day I was super hyped up and anxious about something and for my lunch break from work I was like, 'Going to go clean a grave' and I did because it's very meditative," she told Insider. 

    A side by side of two screenshots of videos from Caitlin Abrams' TikTok account, left showing her smiling in front of a cemetery and right scrubbing down a headstone.

    Abrams, who goes by @manicpixiemom on TikTok, has over 1.3 million followers tuning into her gravestone-cleaning videos where she tells stories about the people buried beneath. Her most popular TikTok, delving into the life of an 11-week-old baby called Silas Reed who died from "lung fever," has over 30 million views at the time of writing. 

    More at source: Insider

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