April 14, 2024
covid 19

The COVID-19 virus can infect humans on surfaces. If a person touches one of these surfaces, they risk infection. Frequent hand washing with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand sanitizers are the most effective strategies to avoid surface infection. The spread of disease can also be mitigated by cleaning and sanitising surfaces.

This advice is meant for public structures, not healthcare facilities or other establishments with specialised cleaning and disinfection requirements. This advice is also limited to preventing the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 and solely pertains to cleaning and disinfection. Not included are measures to clean or disinfect against the spread of other pathogens. Maintain a level of cleanliness and sanitation consistent with industry standards and applicable requirements for your facility type at all times.

Time to Clean and Time to Disinfect

Soap and detergent-based cleaning products effectively reduce the spread of germs and other infectious agents by removing dirt and other debris from surfaces.

Cleaning once daily is usually sufficient to eradicate any virus on surfaces if no one with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 has been in the space. 

In communal areas, you may need to clean more frequently or disinfect in addition to clean if the area:

There are a lot of people here because it’s a busy thoroughfare.

Having a lacklustre airflow.

Does not have any means of washing hands or sanitising them.

Is it home to a population with a high vulnerability to severe sickness due to exposure to COVID-19?

Thorough cleaning and disinfection are required if a sick individual or someone who tested positive for COVID-19 has been in your institution for the previous 24 hours.

Maintenance Duties

Craft a Strategy

Assess the State of the Cleaning Tasks

Think about the material and the number of touches per day. Concentrate on cleaning frequently touched areas at least once a day. You may want to disinfect the site. Disinfectants are often found in cleaning supplies. Choose disinfectant-containing cleaning supplies from EPA List N.

Implement

Purify All Touch Screens

High-touch areas should be cleaned daily or more frequently if necessary. High-touch surfaces include things like desks, keyboards, phones, faucets, and sinks, as well as everyday objects like pens, counters, shopping carts, tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, stair rails, elevator buttons, and smartphones.

Be Safe, Both for Yourself and the Cleaners Around You

Ensure your cleaning crew knows how to utilise disinfectants and other cleaning supplies effectively.

By reading the label, you know what precautions to take when using the product. Some examples of such measures are gloves, glasses, and goggles, as well as increased ventilation and other safety measures.

After finishing up a cleaning task, take 20 seconds to wash your hands with soap and water. 

Whenever there is evidence of filth on the hands, use soap and water to clean them.

People with asthma need extra care. Asthma attacks have been linked to some types of cleaning and disinfecting chemicals. Find out how to lessen the possibility of an asthma attack when sanitising.

Safely Disinfect as Required

Routine disinfection may be required if you come to that conclusion.

Surfaces that are obviously filthy should be washed with soap and water before being disinfected if the product label does not state that the disinfectant can also be used for cleaning.

To eliminate the spread of COVID-19, you should use a disinfectant from the EPA’s List N. Make sure that the EPA Registration number on the product coincides with the number entered into the List N search engine. For help with the List N Tool, look here.

If safe for the surface, Bleach solutions can be used as an alternative to disinfectants included on the EPA’s List N for Coronavirus (COVID-19).

If you want to use a product safely and effectively, you should always refer to the instructions on the label. Warnings and instructions for use will be printed on the label. Make certain disinfectants are stored where youngsters cannot access them. When using a disinfectant, it is often advised to leave the surface moist for a set amount of time (often referred to as “contact time” on the product label).

Consult the product label when you doubt whether to use personal protective equipment (PPE) like gloves, glasses, or goggles.

Ensure there’s enough airflow (for example, open windows).

Never exceed the serving size indicated on the packaging.

If water dilution is called for, room temperature water should be used (unless stated otherwise on the label).

Clearly identify any diluted cleaning or disinfecting solutions.

Keep chemicals away from kids and animals while storing or using them.

Make sure no chemicals or goods are combined.

Do not put cleaning and disinfecting goods on your skin or ingest them through any of your senses. They provide a significant threat.

Surface cleaning and disinfecting products are not intended to be used on human or animal skin.

Techniques of Sanitization That Aren’t Chlorine

Whether or not COVID-19 can be effectively eradicated using non-traditional surface disinfection strategies like ultrasonic waves, high-intensity UV radiation, or LED blue light is still debatable.

It is not recommended to use fogging, fumigation, wide-area or electrostatic spraying as the principal technique of surface disinfection due to the numerous safety risks involved unless such an application method is listed explicitly on the product label.

Perform Targeted Surface Cleaning and Disinfection

  • Rugs, carpets, and curtains are examples of soft surfaces.
  • Use a cleaner designed for the surface type in question, such as soap, detergent, or another solution, to eliminate dirt or grime.
  • To the extent possible, follow the laundering instructions provided by the manufacturer. Dry everything thoroughly after washing it in the warmest water setting possible.
  • Use a disinfectant that is safe for use on fabric, such as those found on EPA List N.
  • Standard procedure; vacuum.
  • Clothing, linens, and other articles of laundry
  • Dry everything thoroughly after washing it in the warmest water setting possible.
  • You can safely wash a sick person’s soiled clothes with a healthy person’s clothes.
  • Wear gloves and a mask if sorting through a sick person’s dirty laundry.
  • Purge dirty laundry baskets or hampers by surface cleaning recommendations.
  • Before touching clean clothes, you should always wash your hands.
  • Tablets, touch displays, keyboards, remote controllers, and automated teller machines are all examples of electronic devices.
  • If you want to make cleaning and sanitising electronics easier, think about purchasing a cover that can be wiped clean.
  • Please clean the electronic gadget by the manufacturer’s instructions and suggestions.
  • Use a product from EPA List N to properly disinfect electronic surfaces as directed by the manufacturer. Alcohol is commonly found in these products because it dries so rapidly, making it ideal for usage on electronic devices.

Spaces Outside

It is not essential, effective, or advised that cleaning agents or disinfectants be sprayed on external surfaces like sidewalks, roadways, or ground cover.

Grab bars, playground equipment, and railings are just a few examples of plastic and metal surfaces that need to be cleaned periodically.

Wooden surfaces and groundcovers (such as mulch and sand) are not advised for cleaning and disinfection.

When a Patient Is Ill, Disinfect the Area

It’s important to sanitise any areas that a sick person or someone who tested positive for COVID-19 used in the previous day.

  • Before washing and sanitising
  • Put up barriers around the ill person’s space and wait to use it again until it has been cleaned and disinfected.
  • To clean and disinfect effectively, you should wait as long as possible (ideally several hours).
  • When disinfecting and cleaning
  • To improve ventilation, open windows and doors and turn on fans or the heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems.
  • When disinfecting, wear a mask and gloves to protect your health.
  • Prioritise cleaning and disinfecting the affected person’s immediate living space unless such spaces have already been treated.
  • You should probably vacuum the area. 
  • To prevent spreading dust and allergens throughout the building, turn off the HVAC system in the room, at the window, or on the wall while vacuuming.
  • Turning off the central HVAC system is NOT recommended. These systems have enhanced filtration capacities and bring in fresh air from outside.
  • Laundry from a person infected with COVID-19 can be washed in a communal washing machine without risk.
  • In addition to adequately storing cleaning and disinfecting supplies, it is also essential to wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when using these products.
  • If less than 24 hours have gone since the last time the sick or diagnosed individual was in the area, it is recommended that the area be cleansed and disinfected.
  • A thorough cleaning is unnecessary if more than 24 hours have passed since the ill or diagnosed person was last in the space. Depending on your facility’s circumstances or routine procedures, you may also decide to disinfect.

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