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Cleaning & Sanitising for COVID-19

This guidance can be applied to any non-healthcare setting such as :

  • Workplaces
  • Offices
  • Waiting rooms
  • Hotel rooms
  • Student accommodation
  • Boarding schools

COVID-19 is mainly passed on by person-to-person spread between people who are in close contact with one another and by droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

It can also spread through contact with a surface or object that has the virus on it. Cleaning helps minimise the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Fortunately, normal cleaning methods do kill this virus. Cleaners, caretakers and concierges play an important role in keeping people in their buildings protected and are on the frontline in the battle against coronavirus (COVID-19) to keep staff, customers and particularly the most vulnerable safe.

This guidance describes the cleaning required, the appropriate disposal of materials, the cleaning of equipment and hard surfaces.

Cleaning and disinfection

Public areas where a symptomatic individual has passed through and spent minimal time, such as corridors, but which are not visibly contaminated with body fluids can be cleaned thoroughly as normal.

All surfaces that the symptomatic person has come into contact with must be cleaned and disinfected including :

Use disposable cloths or paper roll and disposable mop heads, to clean all hard surfaces, floors, chairs, door handles and sanitary fittings, following one of the options below :

or

  • A household detergent followed by disinfection (1000 ppm av.cl.). Follow manufacturer’s instructions for dilution, application and contact times for all detergents and disinfectants.

or

  • If an alternative disinfectant is used within the organisation, this should be checked and ensure that it is effective against enveloped viruses.

Avoid creating splashes and spray when cleaning. Any cloths and mop heads used must be disposed of and should be put into waste bags as outlined below.

Any items that are heavily contaminated with body fluids and cannot be cleaned by washing should be disposed of.

Laundry

Wash items in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the warmest water setting and dry items completely. Dirty laundry that has been in contact with an unwell person can be washed with other people’s items.

Do not shake dirty laundry, this minimises the possibility of dispersing virus through the air.

Clean and disinfect anything used for transporting laundry with your usual products, in line with the cleaning guidance above.

Waste

Waste from possible cases and cleaning of areas where possible cases have been (including disposable cloths and tissues) :

1. Should be put in a plastic rubbish bag and tied when full.

2. The plastic bag should then be placed in a second bin bag and tied.

3. It should be put in a suitable and secure place and marked for storage until the individual’s test results are known.

Waste should be stored safely and kept away from children. You should not put your waste in communal waste areas until negative test results are known or the waste has been stored for at least 72 hours. If the individual tests negative, this can be put in with the normal waste. If the individual tests positive, then store it for at least 72 hours and put in with the normal waste. If storage for at least 72 hours is not appropriate, arrange for collection as a Category B infectious waste, either by your local waste collection authority if they currently collect your waste or otherwise by a specialist clinical waste contractor. They will supply you with orange clinical waste bags for you to place your bags into so the waste can be sent for appropriate treatment.