CDC Guidance Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility

Every Day and When Someone is Sick

Updated by CDC Apr. 5, 2021

The virus that causes COVID-19 can land on surfaces. It’s possible for people to become infected if they touch those 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.

Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces can also reduce the risk of infection.

Always follow standard practices and appropriate regulations specific to your type of facility for minimum standards for cleaning and disinfection. This guidance is indicated for buildings in community settings and is not intended for healthcare settings or for other facilities where specific regulations or practices for cleaning and disinfection may apply.

When to Clean and When to Disinfect

Cleaning with products containing soap or detergent reduces germs on surfaces by removing contaminants and may also weaken or damage some of the virus particles, which decreases risk of infection from surfaces.

When no people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 are known to have been in a space, cleaning once a day is usually enough to sufficiently remove virus that may be on surfaces and help maintain a healthy facility.

Disinfecting (using U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s List Nexternal icon) kills any remaining germs on surfaces, which further reduces any risk of spreading infection.

You may want to either clean more frequently or choose to disinfect (in addition to cleaning) in shared spaces if certain conditions apply that can increase the risk of infection from touching surfaces:

If there has been a sick person or someone who tested positive for COVID-19 in your facility within the last 24 hours, you should clean AND disinfect the space.

Routine Cleaning

Develop Your Plan

Picture of workers cleaning facility

Determine What Needs to Be Cleaned

Consider the type of surface and how often the surface is touched. Generally, the more people who touch a surface, the higher the risk. Prioritize cleaning high-touch surfaces.

Determine How Often To Clean

  • High-touch surfaces should be cleaned at least once a day.
  • More frequent cleaning might be needed when the space is occupied by young children and others who may not consistently wear masks, wash hands, or cover coughs and sneezes.
  • If the space is a high traffic area, or if certain conditions apply, you may choose to clean more frequently.

Determine If Regular Disinfection Is Needed

In most situations, regular cleaning (at least once a day) is enough to sufficiently remove virus that may be on surfaces. However, if certain conditions apply, you may choose to disinfect after cleaning.

Consider the Resources and Equipment Needed

Keep in mind the availability of cleaning products and the personal protective equipment (PPE) appropriate for cleaners and disinfectants (if needed).

Implement

Clean High-Touch Surfaces

Clean high-touch surfaces at least once a day or as often as determined is necessary. Examples of high-touch surfaces include: pens, counters, shopping carts, tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, stair rails, elevator buttons, desks, keyboards, phones, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

Protect Yourself and Other Cleaning Staff

  • Ensure cleaning staff are trained on proper use of cleaning (and disinfecting, if applicable) products.
  • Wear gloves for all tasks in the cleaning process.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds after cleaning. Be sure to wash your hands immediately after removing gloves.
    • If hands are visibly dirty, always wash hands with soap and water.
    • If soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly dirty, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, and wash with soap and water as soon as you can.
  • Special considerations should be made for people with asthma. Some cleaning and disinfection products can trigger asthma. Learn more about reducing your chance of an asthma attack while disinfecting to prevent COVID-19.

Disinfect Safely When Needed

If you determine that regular disinfection may be needed

  • If your disinfectant product label does not specify that it can be used for both cleaning and disinfection, clean visibly dirty surfaces with soap or detergent before disinfection.
  • Use a disinfectant product from the EPA List Nexternal icon that is effective against COVID-19. Check that the EPA Registration numberexternal icon on the product matches the registration number in the List N search tool. See Tips on using the List N Toolexternal icon.
  • Always follow the directions on the label to ensure safe and effective use of the product. The label will include safety information and application instructions. Keep disinfectants out of the reach of children. Many products recommend keeping the surface wet with a disinfectant for a certain period (see product label).
  • Always take necessary safety precautions.
    • Ensure adequate ventilation while using the product.
    • Wear gloves. Gloves should be removed carefully to avoid contamination of the wearer and the surrounding area. Additional PPE, such as glasses or goggles, might be required depending on the cleaning/disinfectant products being used and whether there is a risk of splash.
  • Use chemical disinfectants safely! Always read and follow the directions on the label of cleaning and disinfection products to ensure safe and effective use.
    • Wear gloves and consider glasses or goggles for potential splash hazards to eyes.
    • Ensure adequate ventilation (for example, open windows).
    • Use only the amount recommended on the label.
    • If diluting with water is indicated for use, use water at room temperature (unless stated otherwise on the label).
    • Label diluted cleaning or disinfectant solutions.
    • Store and use chemicals out of the reach of children and pets.
    • Do not mix products or chemicals.
    • Do not eat, drink, breathe, or inject cleaning and disinfection products into your body or apply directly to your skin. They can cause serious harm.
    • Do not wipe or bathe people or pets with any surface cleaning and disinfection products.

Alternative Disinfection Methods

  • The effectiveness of alternative surface disinfection methodsexternal icon, such as ultrasonic waves, high intensity UV radiation, and LED blue light against the virus that causes COVID-19 has not been fully established.
  • CDC does not recommend the use of sanitizing tunnels. Currently, there is no evidence that sanitizing tunnels are effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19. Chemicals used in sanitizing tunnels could cause skin, eye, or respiratory irritation or injury.
  • In most cases, fogging, fumigation, and wide-area or electrostatic spraying is not recommended as a primary method of surface disinfection and has several safety risks to consider.

Clean and Disinfect Specific Types of Surfaces

Soft surfaces such as carpet, rugs, and drapes

  • Clean the surface using a product containing soap, detergent, or other type of cleaner appropriate for use on these surfaces.
  • Launder items (if possible) according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely.
  • If you need to disinfect, use a product from EPA List Nexternal icon approved for use on soft surfaces
  • Vacuum as usual.

Laundry such as clothing, towels, and linens

  • Use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely.
  • It is safe to wash dirty laundry from a person who is sick with other people’s items.
  • If handling dirty laundry from a person who is sick, wear gloves and a mask.
  • Clean clothes hampers or laundry baskets according to guidance for surfaces.
  • Wash hands after handling dirty laundry.

Electronics such as tablets, touch screens, keyboards, remote controls, and ATM machines

  • Consider putting a wipeable cover on electronics, which makes cleaning and disinfecting easier.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations for cleaning the electronic device.
  • For electronic surfaces that need to be disinfected, use a product on EPA List Nexternal icon that meets manufacturer’s recommendations. Many of the products for electronics contain alcohol because it dries quickly.

Outdoor areas

  • Spraying cleaning products or disinfectants in outdoor areas – such as on sidewalks, roads, or groundcover – is not necessary, effective, or recommended.
  • High-touch surfaces made of plastic or metal, such as grab bars, play structures, and railings, should be cleaned regularly.
  • Cleaning and disinfection of wooden surfaces (such as wood play structures, benches, tables) or groundcovers (such as mulch and sand) is not recommended.

Clean and Disinfect Your Facility When Someone is Sick

If there has been a sick person or someone who tested positive for COVID-19 in your facility within the last 24 hours, you should clean and disinfect the spaces they occupied.

Before cleaning and disinfecting

  • Close off areas used by the person who is sick and do not use those areas until after cleaning and disinfecting.
  • Wait as long as possible (at least several hours) before you clean and disinfect.

While cleaning and disinfecting

  • Open doors and windows and use fans or HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) settings to increase air circulation in the area.
  • Use products from EPA List Nexternal icon according to the instructions on the product label.
  • Wear a mask and gloves while cleaning and disinfecting.
  • Focus on the immediate areas occupied by the person who is sick or diagnosed with COVID-19 unless they have already been cleaned and disinfected.
  • Vacuum the space if needed. Use a vacuum equipped with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter and bags, if available.
    • While vacuuming, temporarily turn off in-room, window-mounted, or on-wall recirculation heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems to avoid contamination of HVAC units.
    • Do NOT deactivate central HVAC systems. These systems provide better filtration capabilities and introduce outdoor air into the areas that they serve.
  • It is safe to wash dirty laundry from a person who is sick with COVID-19 with other people’s items, if needed.
  • Ensure safe and correct use and storage of cleaning and disinfectant products, including storing such products securely and using PPE needed for the cleaning and disinfection products.

If less than 24 hours have passed since the person who is sick or diagnosed with COVID-19 has been in the space, clean and disinfect the space.

If more than 24 hours have passed since the person who is sick or diagnosed with COVID-19 has been in the space, cleaning is enough. You may choose to also disinfect depending on certain conditions or everyday practices required by your facility.

If more than 3 days have passed since the person who is sick or diagnosed with COVID-19 has been in the space, no additional cleaning (beyond regular cleaning practices) is needed.

Ask the Flexpert…Name some Techniques that Lower Employee Workplace Stress

7 Simple Tips to Lower Employee Stress

In these uncertain times, even effective organizations undergo stress and worry. Human Resource personnel play a critical role in monitoring employee stress levels and modeling effective behCharaciture of Flexpertaviors for the workforce. to maintain a culture that triggers less unease and tension for employees, improves resilience, boosts performance, and builds feelings of value for all members of work teams.

Signs of Employee Stress

Quarrelling workers, hassling managers, poor communicating peers who don’t reply, supervisors who are emailing while you’re talking to them… all these personnel are too harried to observe the basic tenets of respect and concern for their co-workers or subordinates.

You should be aware of these 7 techniques because they merit your attention for improving the tone in your workplace:

  1. Institute “zero-tolerance” guidelines against toxic or offensive talk.
  2. Foster behavior by managers who hear negativity to prompt employees that their good performance or interactions compensates for any small mistakes. Advise employees that it is acceptable and even desirable to attempt some outcome even if tit results in some honest errors.
  3. Inform your workers what they are doing well. A few times per week a distribute a positive quotation that motivates them or at least gets them thinking about positive actions. Blend in snippets of positive company or industry news or positive results by an employee. The idea is if people see something positive the first thing each day that sets a positive tone for the entire day.
  4. Encourage leaders to praise employees in front of their peers.
  5. Support bosses in recognizing each employees’ strengths, and then have them delegate projects that mirror each employee’s strengths. Build work groups whose members’ skills complement one another.
  6. Arrange for lunchtime speakers to educate employees about stress-management. Upload stress-reducing exercises to your internal website.
  7. Regularly recap for employees the value of their output to customers or other co-workers or to support the company’s goals.
Reduce Stress with a Staffing Agency’s Support

Flexicrew can help improve your work environment, reduce your anxiety and stress by assisting you with workforce planning and recruiting the quality talent that you need in this uncertain time.  Contact one of our workforce professionals Today!

How To Protect Your Mental Health During The Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has been brutal on the state of mental health in Americans. You’ve been limited in how you can celebrate birthdays, graduations, and weddings and even funerals. You’ve seen loved ones hooked up to a ventilator fighting for their lives. You’ve got an entire hygienic routine every time you leave the house: Wear a mask, stay six feet apart, wash your hands, and repeat.

Staying Grounded

Here’s what you can do to protect your mental health during this ongoing pandemic.

Get Some Exercise

You don’t have to go to the gym to stay in shape. There are actually plenty of exercises and routines that you can do from the comfort of your own living room. That includes exercises like push-ups, jumping jacks, and even going for a walk or jog around the block.

On top of building your endurance and strength, exercise can trigger the release of endorphins in your system. According to the Mayo Clinic, these are known as the “feel-good” hormone and will naturally boost a low mood during such trying times.

Stay in Contact With Positive Co-Workers

Not being able to meet with those you regularly work with can be detrimental to your mental health. Prolonged loneliness and social isolation can lower your productivity and increase your risk of certain mental health disorders, substance abuse issues, or even suicide.

In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that loneliness increases the risk of serious health disorders. The best way to avoid these consequences is by staying in touch with loved ones via daily or weekly phone calls, video calls, or text messages.

Leave the House

Some states still have limitations when it comes to where you can go, what you can do, and who you can see. Yet at this point in the pandemic, you realize that your mood declines and you feel fatigued the longer you stay put in the house.

In a study published in Issues in Mental Health Nursing, vitamin D, which can be absorbed by the body from sunlight, is a great mood booster and actually is used to treat depression. So, if you’re feeling down and lonely in the house without physical interactions with your team members, spend some time in the backyard or go for a walk at the park.

Reach Out to a Therapist

If you were already struggling with your mental health prior to the pandemic, there’s a good chance that your situation has actually worsened as the months continued. Luckily, the forced closure of most mental health facilities doesn’t mean that you currently have no access to care. Many counselors, therapists, and psychiatrists have moved to telemedicine for the time being. Scheduling an appointment with a therapist via video call is a great way to process your emotions and learn how to cope.

Get a Pet (We’re not joking)

Most people would appreciate coming home from work every day to be greeted by a friendly dog or cat. But when loneliness and sadness become excessive during quarantine, a pet may be exactly what you need to feel better.

The connection between pet ownership and mental health has been long studied. In fact, a survey conducted by the Human Animal Bond Research Institute, mental health improvements were seen in about 74% of pet owners.

Final Thoughts

During a pandemic that doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon with new variants popping up periodically, it’s important that you prioritize your mental health. Not only will this make you feel less lonely and like you have a greater purpose, but it’ll also save you from a ton of emotional turmoil that you’ll have to sort through once COVID-19 is gone for good.