The SARS-CoV-2 or Novel Coronavirus contains a mixture RNA and proteins surrounded by a lipid bilayer membrane that is all held together with non-covalent bonds, which is referred to as an enveloped virus. This outer membrane has lipids that extend out from the virus which gives it a crown-like shape (Latin term for crown is corona), which is where the term coronavirus comes from. The virus lipid membrane is sticky or greasy and has a good adhesion factor to surfaces including our skin which also consists of a mixture of proteins from dead skin cells. Therefore, using water alone does not likely remove the virus from our hands and therefore the use of soap during hand washing is necessary for the lipid membrane and non-covalent bonds to destabilize as the soap interacts with the lipids.
It is believed that the coronavirus generally cannot produce infectious properties long on surfaces but is dependent on the type of surface and other factors such as environmental conditions. Some studies have determined the virus can survive on some surfaces for a few days and other studies have shown up to several weeks. After the cleaning and disinfection process, it is highly recommended that the client implement a Coronavirus Maintenance Program to address situations such as isolation/quarantine procedures for employees testing positive, implementing good disinfection procedures and sanitation hygiene practices before and after entering the subject. In many cases, it may be necessary to utilize PR2 certified custodial/janitorial for certain cleaning and maintenance activities as part of the Maintenance Program.