With coronavirus spreading, deep cleaners are in high demand

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Microscopic in size, COVID-19 can land on surfaces and survive there for hours or days. If someone touches that surface and later touches their face, the virus has a way into their body.

It's understandable, then, that a wide range of large and small companies, wealthy individuals and government institutions are having their workspaces and homes completely sanitized in the hope of eradicating any lingering coronavirus.

“We're working 24 hours,” Reuven Noyman, the owner of NYC Steam Cleaning, which has four crews sanitizing buildings across New York City and the suburbs, told Scientific American.

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a new spotlight -- and stress -- on janitors, cleaners and other workers whose job it is to clean and disinfect the spaces we inhabit.

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An army soldier sprays disinfectant to curb the spread of the coronavirus at a library in Daegu, South Korea, Wednesday, March 25, 2020.

An army soldier sprays disinfectant to curb the spread of the coronavirus at a library in Daegu, South Korea, Wednesday, March 25, 2020. (Kim Hyun-tae/Yonhap via AP)

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“They’re overwhelmed. They’re being called all the time,” Patty Olinger, the executive director of the Global Biorisk Advisory Council, a division of ISSA -- a cleaning industry trade association, told Scientific American.

In addition to cloths and cleaning fluid, Noyman’s crews use specialized equipment, including massive,100-pound carpet cleaners, the science magazine reported.

They reportedly hose down entire rooms with piping hot steam from a $4,900 Italian-made machine.

A study published earlier this month revealed that COVID-19 can survive on surfaces such as stainless steel and plastic for up to three days. A separate study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that the virus survived on the Diamond Princess cruise ship for up to 17 days.

The CDC has issued detailed guidelines on how to disinfect your house amid the pandemic.

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