Cleaning crews stock up, prepare for high demand during coronavirus outbreak

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Their readiness now is like their preparation before a hurricane, only this time it's a different kind of emergency.

"We're going to get calls 24/7," Adam Rosenzweig, owner and manager of C.A.R.E. Services in Raleigh, explained to ABC11. "The difference is there's almost no equipment. It's almost all manpower."

Rosenzweig's warehouse is stocked with air dryers, dehumidifiers and other heavy machinery, but his team of 12 is now arming themselves with 55-gallon tanks of disinfectants plus an ample supply of sponges and wipes.

"This is purely a touch situation," he said. "We've seen SARS, we've seen MERS. They weren't on a grand scale in the United States. This is everywhere now."

The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, is not everywhere -- yet, though it certainly continues to permeate communities throughout the world and threaten the stability of both the global and national economies.

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Rosenzweig so far is fielding calls from several businesses, both large and small, who can't afford to close. He also says these companies find themselves in a difficult predicament: pay for a full cleanup now or wait until after there's been an infected individual that has passed through? The CDC offers clear protocols for how to decontaminate, but there is no guarantee about full prevention before a patient visit.

"There's no chance of people going in and out of buildings to get to 100 percent (protected), so how do we give companies the best chance to keep their people as safe as possible and not put them out of business?"

As for supplies, Rosenzweig said there is little worry about the kind of shortages like there are with COVID-19 testing kits.

"All the companies I know, who are certainly reputable companies, have stocked up on what they need for a little while. The big problem is the public buying anything they can get their hands on."
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