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AIBU to think DD should have been told about CV in office she cleans?

(62 Posts)
WorkplaceQuery Tue 22-Sep-20 18:50:48

Talk me down please as I am fit to be peeled off the ceiling but not sure whether I am over reacting..

DD has a part time job cleaning an office workplace twice a week (office with desks etc/kitchen/meeting room no bathrooms/toilets) She cleans all surfaces, hoovers, bags up and takes waste out etc. She wears a mask and uses latex gloves (brings her own)

She turned up tonight and met a cleaner (for another office) in the communal area of the building who asked if she had been told there had been a confirmed CV case in "DDs" office Friday. DD said no and contacted her boss. He said it had all been cleaned and all was OK.

DD realised she had been there Friday and cleaned and emptied the bins plus there had been someone in the office (there sometimes is as people work late). So she contacted boss to ask when the case had been confirmed and what areas the positive person had been in contact with...he said he will get back to her as he didn't know about the case until Saturday morning.

Surely DD should have been told? I am worried she touched and handled contagious surfaces/waste etc on Friday evening - obviously she wears gloves but still?! The person on Friday night was at the end of the office but they exchanged a few words and walked past each other later. DD wore a mask and gloves but other person did not, but I realise this is a fleeting contact, it's more the handling of waste and touching surfaces - maybe they didn't know at that point but on Saturday they should have made her aware surely?

I may be worrying too much as I am clinically extremely vulnerable and was on the shielding list. DD is 17 so still at college and living at home with us.

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noblegiraffe Tue 22-Sep-20 18:55:24

How would there have been a confirmed case on Friday and the confirmed case be in the office Friday night? They’d have been at home isolating waiting on the results?

Does she have the right person?

WorkplaceQuery Tue 22-Sep-20 18:58:49

Sorry I should have said DD's boss isn't based at that office, they're at head office.

The other cleaner said to DD "there was a case on Friday" and that's literally all we know. We don't know when or who exactly. The boss said he didn't know anything until Saturday morning when they requested a de fogging service

We are also in a local lockdown area with high rates.

(I really don't want to make this identifiable so might ask MNHQ to move it to 30 days actually if it becomes too IDing)

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WorkplaceQuery Tue 22-Sep-20 19:00:56

Noble I am assuming someone was confirmed with a case on Friday so wouldn't have been in the office on that day? But they may have been in before? DD cleaned the office Tues and Friday last week and I don't think it is cleaned in between those days.

It's not knowing that's pissing me off quite a bit tbh

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noblegiraffe Tue 22-Sep-20 19:03:08

I think if the person wasn’t in the office on Friday (due to being at home waiting on results) then the minimal chance of your DD picking it up from surfaces despite gloves and mask will be even less due to the time lapse since the person was there.

Hopefully there will be more details forthcoming that will put your mind at ease.

WorkplaceQuery Tue 22-Sep-20 19:07:18

Thank you for replying smile I'm pretty sure the person she saw on Friday wouldn't have been the CV case person, but its just that it sounds like she cleaned the office in between the positive confirmation and proper clean/disinfecting took place and hasn't been told.

I read (via the power of google but PHE advice) that (for example) waste should be bagged for 72 hours before being removed and if it has to be removed before then, it needs to be a specialist service. She also cleaned the mugs etc. Yes with gloves etc but it's a worry and I think the it's not being informed that has fucked me off as well as the worry.

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WorkplaceQuery Tue 22-Sep-20 19:13:34

This is a snapshot of the advice on the gov website but I am totally clueless otherwise as to what should happen in scenarios like this.

Obviously DD is a sensible and highly intelligent young adult (I'm biased smile) and we are sensible and careful at home with hygiene etc but this really has me worried and quite angry really.

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WorkplaceQuery Tue 22-Sep-20 19:14:19

Also she shares a bedroom with another DD.

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Catchingbabies Tue 22-Sep-20 19:20:08

What is knowing going to achieve? It’s done now. If she was using PPE and taking precautions then she should be fine. She should be treating everything as potentially contaminated right now anyway.

surreygirl1987 Tue 22-Sep-20 19:24:33

From a schoolteacher's perspective.. I think you've not got much to worry about. It sounds like chances are minimal. Besides, it's too late now anyway so either she has it (unlikely) or she doesn't. It doesn't count as close contact and she has no symptoms (I assume).

Thisismytimetoshine Tue 22-Sep-20 19:27:47

She was wearing a mask and gloves? Not sure why she would have been at particular risk, really.
Someone has to do the deep cleans of schools, etc, when they've had confirmed cases. That's not how it transmits.

Devlesko Tue 22-Sep-20 19:28:27

Do you think she'd have done a better job of cleaning if she'd known?
I'm sure if she has a job cleaning then she's able to sort her own battles, calm down. We can't all know everytime a case is reported, we just have to get on with it or shield.
I bet there's several cases in that office, considering some are asymptomatic and wouldn't maybe know.

WorkplaceQuery Tue 22-Sep-20 19:37:49

She was using her mask and gloves (her own) and I know that knowing now doesn't change anything that's happened (awkward sentence, not very articulate today!)
The guidelines seem to be that settings and waste need to cleaned/disposed of in a certain way which obviously hasn't happened before DD cleaned.

I think there would have been a gap before the confirmed test (Friday) and her cleaning in which case they should have contacted her and cancelled her until it had been done. Or if they didn't know until Saturday morning, they should have contacted her to let her know seeing as she had handled waste and surfaces etc (I know she had own gloves and mask but PHE advice seems to be personal PPE should not be used or won't be taken into account - for contact tracing and isolation etc)

It obviously needed specialist cleaning which they called someone in to do. But DD should have been either cancelled if they knew in advance of her visit, or she should have been made aware if they knew the very day after her visit!

Maybe I'm being OTT?

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WorkplaceQuery Tue 22-Sep-20 19:39:19

And I'd don't think she would have "done a better job if she'd known" hmm the guidelines are clear on the cleaning that needs doing - not the cleaning DD does - she doesn't deal with category B waste for example...

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Thisismytimetoshine Tue 22-Sep-20 19:43:00

I'm not sure what Category B waste covers, but would she have come across it in the normal run of things cleaning an office? I suspect not.
There generally isn't any toxic waste in office environments.

10storeylovesong Tue 22-Sep-20 19:50:52

I don't believe she would be contacted under track and trace in these circumstances anyway. I believe its face to face contact with the person, within 2 metres, for 15 mins.

WorkplaceQuery Tue 22-Sep-20 19:51:05

The guidance says

"Personal waste from individuals with symptoms of COVID-19 and waste from cleaning of areas where they have been (including PPE, disposable cloths and used tissues):
1Should be put in a plastic rubbish bag and tied when full
2The plastic bag should then be placed in a second bin bag and tied
3This should be put in a suitable and secure place and marked for storage until the individual’s test results are known
This waste should be stored safely and kept away from children. It should not be placed in communal waste areas until negative test results are known, or the waste has been stored for at least 72 hours.
If the individual tests negative, this can be put indisposed of immediately with the normal waste.
If COVID-19 is confirmed this waste should be stored for at least 72 hours before disposal with normal waste.
If during an emergency you need to remove the waste before 72 hours, it must be treated as Category B infectious waste. You must:
•keep it separate from your other waste
•arrange for collection by a specialist contractor as hazardous waste
There will be a charge for this service.

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WorkplaceQuery Tue 22-Sep-20 19:54:28

Anyway let see what DD hears back tomorrow. No point borrowing trouble by worrying now!

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Catchingbabies Tue 22-Sep-20 20:10:21

The category B waste is silly, do we really think that every single household is doing that when they have a cough, temp etc. while awaiting negative results?

The evidence seems to be the covid doesn’t live that long on surfaces. The infected person wouldn’t have been in work Friday as they would have been home awaiting results. They may not have been in work since Tuesday which is more than 72 hours before your daughter cleaned.

This isn’t classed as close contact so there will be no requirement for her to isolate. I honestly think you’re over worrying about this.

WorkplaceQuery Tue 22-Sep-20 20:29:28

I hope I am overthinking it (I'll ignore the fact she cleaned on Tuesday evening too wink)

Let's see what tomorrow brings.

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Thisismytimetoshine Tue 22-Sep-20 20:52:33

What are you expecting tomorrow to bring?

Twillow Tue 22-Sep-20 20:59:52

To be honest, we all need to act as if everyone else has it. Because they might. We don't know enough about asymptomatic carriers, how long before you feel ill you are infectious etc etc.

Nc967125 Tue 22-Sep-20 21:11:32

Completely separate note - please ask her to use none latex gloves. Latex allergies are very common and the dust off latex gloves could be causing issues for people plus noone will be aware of the cause if shes provided her own gloves they wont be on workplace risk assessments to check if anyone in the office has allergies.

WorkplaceQuery Tue 22-Sep-20 21:27:50

DD's boss has said he will let her know tomorrow when the positive case was actually confirmed and what measures had been taken eg did her details need to be provided to T and T. There was also someone working late on Tuesday (a different one to Friday) who DD came into contact with, again it may not even be the positive person though!

The "close contact" definition was quite interesting so I thought I'd copy it here (below) Obviously without knowing who/when it's impossible to say - DD could have been in the room with them for more than 15 minutes with them working and her cleaning, but to be honest it's also the touching of surfaces/mugs/waste etc. I know she was wearing gloves/mask but the other people weren't and also the guidance is clear that "home supplied" PPE isn't taken into account. It's also quite clear that they consider waste to be hazardous for 72 hours (eg DD took off her gloves when she left and put them in the rubbish as usual)

DD (and I tend to agree)thinks she should have at least been told. She may have been at risk and if she had fallen into the close contact category could, and should, have isolated - as it is she has been on public transport and to college...

She has also said her boss actually called her on Sunday for the access code to the building - she didn't think anything of it at the time but clearly they knew there had been a confirmed case and had to take action, but didn't tell her (he said he wanted to "do a quality check")...so clearly they weren't going to tell her and if it hadn't been for the other cleaner meeting her by chance she wouldn't have known.

I don't think many people would be happy in this situation but I may have lost a bit of perspective being on the shielding list...

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WorkplaceQuery Tue 22-Sep-20 21:28:45

Sorry this is the close contact blurb bit

A close ‘contact’ is a person who has been close to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 anytime from 2 days before the person was symptomatic up to 7 days from onset of symptoms (this is when they are infectious to others). This could be a person who:
•spends significant time in the same household
•is a sexual partner
•has had face-to-face contact (within one metre), including:
•being coughed on
•having skin-to-skin physical contact, or
•contact within one metre for one minute
•has been within 2 metres of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes
•has travelled in a small vehicle, or in a large vehicle or plane
Where an interaction between 2 people has taken place through a Perspex (or equivalent) screen, this would not be considered sufficient contact, provided that there has been no other contact such as any of those indicated above.
The contact tracers will not consider the wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE) as a mitigation when assessing whether a recent contact is likely to have risked transmitting the virus. Only full medical-grade PPE worn in health and care settings will be considered.

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