This guidance will provide information about how and when to clean and disinfect community facilities, e.g. places where the public, customers or employees have access. It is not intended for healthcare or senior care facilities.
Covid-19 is primarily spread by people via respiratory droplets or finer aerosols containing viral particles.
These viral particles can land on surfaces and there is a possibility for people to become infected if they touch these surfaces and then touch their nose, mouth or eyes. In most situations, the risk of infection from touching a surface is low. The most reliable way to prevent infection from surfaces is to regularly wash hands or use hand sanitizer.
WHAT TO DO
Cleaning and Disinfecting to reduce the risk of infection:
For routine cleaning in a non-healthcare workplace, physical cleaning with water and detergent is usually sufficient. However, for frequently touched surfaces, disinfection as well as cleaning is recommended.
Clean soft surfaces – launder items on the hottest wash recommended. Clean items that cannot be laundered with spray or cleaners recommended for the surface.
CLEAN – Remove all dirt and impurities from surfaces using water and detergent.
DISINFECT – Use chemicals to kill germs, bacteria and viruses on surfaces. Use appropriate EPA approved disinfectant (D-List), such as bleach (sodium hypochlorite), but only after cleaning the surface first.
PROTECT - Read product labels and ensure correct protection (PPE) is used. Gloves are a minimum, but aprons and eye protection may be indicated. Wash hands after removing gloves and follow product label instructions for handling, using and disposing of chemicals.
Advice on Cleaning
Develop a plan:
Evaluate the area to be cleaned. Identify and prioritize high or frequently touched surfaces - these may include: phones, counters, keyboards, touchscreens, tables, chairs, handrails, light switches, door knobs, and drawer cabinet and closet handles. Clean bathroom facilities thoroughly including sinks, taps/faucets, toilet lids, seats and levers. Clean stall doors handles and dividers, including surrounding tile, soap and towel dispensers.
Determine frequency of cleaning and if regular disinfection is needed. You may wish to clean more frequently or choose to disinfect (in addition to cleaning) in shared spaces if certain conditions apply such as:
- High transmission of Covid-19 in community
- Low no. of persons wearing masks or poor hand hygiene frequency
- Space used by person with increased risk of severe illness from Covid-19
Consider resources, equipment and products needed.
It is highly recommended that all workplaces are cleaned at least daily.
Advice on Disinfecting
When and what kind of disinfection is required depends on the likelihood of contaminated material being present in a particular area or space.
Frequently touched surfaces should be cleaned and then disinfected at least once a day.
Cleaning and disinfection should be carried out where there is a high volume of workers, customers or visitors who are likely to touch surfaces, or if equipment is shared between workers or others.
Ensure good ventilation of the area.
Follow manufacturers’ directions, including those for method of application, dilution levels and contact time.
COMMERCIAL AND CUSTODIAL CLEANING GUIDELINES
The following precautions should be taken at commercial facilities when cleaning and disinfecting:
Where possible, open all doors and windows to increase ventilation and circulation.
Avoid splashes and spraying while cleaning.
Clean and then disinfect all frequently touched surfaces
Clean with water and detergent solution.
Disinfect using diluted bleach (1/3 cup per gallon) or EPA registered disinfectant approved for Covid-19 ( N-List). Follow all label instructions and ensure product is not expired.
For soft, porous surfaces, such as upholstered chairs, carpets and drapes, remove visible contamination with appropriate cleaners and launder as appropriate.
If items cannot be cleaned or laundered, use sanitizing steam to clean and disinfect.
Personal Protective Equipment PPE
- At a minimum, gloves aprons and facemasks should be worn by all cleaning staff.
- Ensure gloves used are compatible with cleaning products chosen.
- Follow all safety precautions as outlined in the product Safety Data Sheet, including those for PPE use.
- PPE must be removed properly to avoid possible contamination of the wearer and surrounding areas.
- Disposable gloves should be properly removed and discarded after each cleaning. Cleaning personnel must wash hands immediately after PPE is removed.
- If surfaces contain visible bodily fluids, additional PPE is required to protect the eyes, nose and mouth. Protective masks and eye protection must be worn in this case.
- Only re-usable PPE (goggles etc) should be cleaned and disinfected in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Do not clean and re-use disposable PPE.
Disposal of waste
All chemicals must be properly handled and disposed of according to the manufacturer and local hazardous waste disposal requirements.
All individuals required to perform cleaning duties in commercial facilities must be adequately trained in the following:
- General guidance and information about infection prevention and control measures, including those for COVID-19 - IPC training course as a minimum (available at Infection Prevention and Control Training | Government of Bermuda (www.gov.bm)).
- Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) requirements when cleaning, and how to choose appropriate PPE.
- Proper steps for using, putting on (donning) and taking off (doffing) PPE.
- Guidelines for disposal of waste and PPE, as outlined above.
- Hazards associated with the handling, use, storage and disposal of all cleaning and disinfecting chemicals being used, as outlined in the chemical safety data sheet (SDS).