COVID-19 and Flu Season: Fortify Your Workplace with Protect-3 Advance


Before the pandemic, most businesses typically focused fall cleaning programs to prepare for flu season. Now the question is, how can you protect your workplace against both influenza (flu) and COVID-19?

While the two viruses both cause respiratory disease, knowing more about their similarities and differences, and how each can spread will help you implement the necessary measures to fortify against virus outbreaks and transmission in your facility. The following are some main points to keep in mind.


  • Both viruses are predominantly spread via respiratory droplets or contaminated surfaces, so social distancing policies designed to limit COVID-19 transmission are also effective against influenza.
  • The same public health measures, such as hand hygiene and good respiratory etiquette are important actions everyone must follow to prevent the outbreak and transmission of either virus.


  • Influenza has a shorter incubation period (the time from infection to appearance of symptoms) and a shorter serial interval (the time between successive cases). This means that the flu can spread faster than COVID-19.
  • Most people with influenza are contagious for about 1 day before they show symptoms and during the initial 3-4 days of illness (but many remain contagious for about 7 days). With COVID-19, however, it is possible for people to be infectious about 2 days before symptoms appear and to remain contagious for at least 10 days after. Also, with COVID-19, if someone is asymptomatic or their symptoms go away, it is still possible for them to remain contagious for at least 10 days after testing positive.
  • COVID-19 is more contagious than flu among certain populations and age groups and can quickly and easily spread to a lot of people and result in continuous spreading among people as time progresses.
  • While the range of symptoms for the two viruses is similar, the fraction resulting in severe disease is higher with COVID-19 than with flu infection.
  • There are multiple vaccines produced annually to protect against the 3 or 4 flu virus strains that scientists anticipate will circulate each year, but currently there is no vaccine to prevent COVID-19.


As well as preparing for a possible second wave of COVID-19, another major concern is co-contamination. Recent reports show co-infection with another respiratory pathogen, including the flu, occurred in more than 20% of COVID-19-positive patients who presented with respiratory viral symptoms early in the pandemic.

In response to the heightened concern of infection risk for both COVID-19 and the flu as businesses return to work, ServiceMaster Clean has developed PROTECT-3 ADVANCE™,  a comprehensive, science-based cleaning and disinfecting program designed to reduce the risk of infectious outbreaks and provide continued protection in all types of work environments.

PROTECT-3 ADVANCE™ is a full-spectrum cleaning and disinfection program based on a high-efficiency three tier system: CLEAN, DISINFECT & FORTIFY. A cornerstone feature of the program is ATP testing, a technology used in healthcare environments for decades because it validates the effectiveness of cleaning and disinfection at a micro level.

Safeguard your employees, workplace occupants and customers against both COVID-19 and the flu this season with PROTECT-3 ADVANCE™.


PROTECT-3 ADVANCE™ is another innovative program from ServiceMaster Clean and part of our Healthy Office initiative, bringing more science to cleaning as our world adapts to getting back to work.

At ServiceMaster Clean, our professional commercial cleaners are experts in creating clean, safe and healthy work environments. We have the experience and resources to help maintain and promote safe practices for infection prevention within all businesses. ServiceMaster Clean is aligned with Health Canada recommendations and has preventive commercial cleaning and disinfecting processes and procedures to respond to all types of infectious disease contagions, including COVID-191

Our locally owned ServiceMaster Clean team can help your business implement effective preventive cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing protocols to help prevent outbreak and spread of infectious disease in your workplace. Please call to let us be of service.     



1 Human coronaviruses can remain infectious on inanimate surfaces at room temperature for up to 9 days. At a temperature of 30°C [86°F] or more, the duration of persistence is shorter. Veterinary coronaviruses have been shown to persist even longer for 28 days.

DISCLAIMER - COVID-19 is an emerging pathogen and new information becomes available on a regular basis. The information presented here is based on reports available at the time this article was written, in July 2020, and is derived from several sources including the U.S. Center for Disease Control, World Health Organization, Health Canada and other sources. The information contained in this article may be updated at any point by the organizations mentioned herein. It is the responsibility of every business to stay current on new information regarding COVID-19 as it emerges. This article should not be construed to be the totality of all information available on COVID-19.