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Posted on: March 31, 2020

Helpful Information from the CDC on how to Disinfect Properly

cleaning supplies including spray bottles, gloves and sponges laid out on a table



Here’s some helpful information about how to properly disinfect. 




 



There is much to learn about the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Based on what is currently known about the virus and about similar coronaviruses that cause SARS and MERS, spread from person-to-person happens most frequently among close contacts (within about 6 feet). This type of transmission occurs via respiratory droplets, but disease transmission via infectious aerosols is currently uncertain. Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to persons from surfaces contaminated with the virus has not been documented. Transmission of coronavirus in general occurs much more commonly through respiratory droplets than through fomites. Current evidence suggests that SARS-CoV-2 may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials. Cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in community settings. 

It is unknown how long the air inside a room occupied by someone with confirmed COVID-19 remains potentially infectious. Facilities will need to consider factors such as the size of the room and the ventilation system design (including flowrate [air changes per hour] and location of supply and exhaust vents) when deciding how long to close off rooms or areas used by ill persons before beginning disinfection. Taking measures to improve ventilation in an area or room where someone was ill or suspected to be ill with COVID-19 will help shorten the time it takes respiratory droplets to be removed from the air.  

How to Clean and Disinfect 

Hard (Non-porous) Surfaces 

  • If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection. 

  • For disinfection, most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective. 

  • A list of products that are EPA-approved for use against the virus that causes COVID-19 is available herepdf iconexternal icon. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products for concentration, application method and contact time, etc. 

  • Additionally, diluted household bleach solutions (at least 1000ppm sodium hypochlorite) can be used if appropriate for the surface. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application, ensuring a contact time of at least 1 minute, and allowing proper ventilation during and after application. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted. 

  • Prepare a bleach solution by mixing: 

  • 5 tablespoons (1/3 cup) bleach per gallon of water or 

  • 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water 

Soft (Porous) Surfaces 

  • For soft (porous) surfaces such as carpeted floor, rugs, and drapes, remove visible contamination if present and clean with appropriate cleaners indicated for use on these surfaces. After cleaning: 

  • If the items can be laundered, launder items in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and then dry items completely. 

  • Otherwise, use products that are EPA-approved for use against the virus that causes COVID-19pdf iconexternal icon and that are suitable for porous surfaces 

Electronics 

  • For electronics such as tablets, touch screens, keyboards, remote controls, and ATM machines, remove visible contamination if present. 

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products. 

  • Consider use of wipeable covers for electronics. 

  • If no manufacturer guidance is available, consider the use of alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol to disinfect touch screens. Dry surfaces thoroughly to avoid pooling of liquids. 

Linens, Clothing, and Other Items That Go in the Laundry 

  • In order to minimize the possibility of dispersing virus through the air, do not shake dirty laundry. 

  • Wash items as appropriate in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry items completely. Dirty laundry that has been in contact with an ill person can be washed with other people’s items. 

  • Clean and disinfect hampers or other carts for transporting laundry according to guidance above for hard or soft surfaces. 

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Hand Hygiene: 

  • The risk of exposure to cleaning staff is inherently low. Cleaning staff should wear disposable gloves and gowns for all tasks in the cleaning process, including handling trash. 

  • Gloves and gowns should be compatible with the disinfectant products being used. 

  • Additional PPE might be required based on the cleaning/disinfectant products being used and whether there is a risk of splash. 

  • Gloves and gowns should be removed carefully to avoid contamination of the wearer and the surrounding area. Be sure to clean hands after removing gloves. 

  • If gowns are not available, coveralls, aprons or work uniforms can be worn during cleaning and disinfecting. Reuseable (washable) clothing should be laundered afterwards. Clean hands after handling dirty laundry. 

  • Gloves should be removed after cleaning a room or area occupied by ill persons. Clean handsimmediately after gloves are removed. 

  • Cleaning staff should immediately report breaches in PPE such as a tear in gloves or any other potential exposures to their supervisor. 

  • Cleaning staff and others should clean hands often, including immediately after removing gloves and after contact with an ill person, by washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly dirty, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol may be used. However, if hands are visibly dirty, always wash hands with soap and water. 

  • Follow normal preventive actions while at work and home, including cleaning hands and avoiding touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands. 

  • Additional key times to clean hands include: 

  • After blowing one’s nose, coughing, or sneezing 

  • After using the restroom 

  • Before eating or preparing food 

  • After contact with animals or pets 

  • Before and after providing routine care for another person who needs assistance such as a child 


Full article from the CDC



 




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