COVID 19 cleaning
Cleaning thoroughly is an essential part of infection prevention and control cleaning properly can help to prevent the spread of harmful microorganisms around the workplace and reduce the potential transmission.
Personal protective equipment (PPE)
Those cleaning after suspected case of COVID 19 should be provided with appropriate PPE to carry out the tasks safely.
Anyone cleaning after any suspected case must be provided with disposable gloves and overalls
What we provide:
- Face mask
- Face shield (option)
- Disposable gloves
- Shoe coverings
Maintaining good hygiene is essential to prevent contracting or the transmission of the coronavirus. Regularly wash or sanitise your hands and do not touch your face.
COVID cleaning process
Destroy bacteria and other microorganisms using heat or a chemical disinfectant for an adequate contact time
- Remove disinfectant using clean hot water this stage may not always be carried out depending on the disinfectant and the item or surface you are cleaning you should follow the manufacturer’s guidance.
Air dry where possible. If drying cloths are used they should be single use. Never air dry cloths and re use them as bacteria can grow in them and pose a contamination risk.
COVID-19 cleaning breakdown
Disposable cloths, paper rolls and mop heads should be used to clean contaminated hard surfaces along with either:
- a combined detergent disinfectant solution at a dilution of 1000 parts per million available chlorine (ppm av. Cl.)
- a household detergent followed by disinfection (1000 (ppm av. Cl.)
- an alternative disinfectant that is effective against envelope viruses
NOTE: COVID-19 is an envelope virus which means that it has an outer envelope around its structure this can be easily compromised by disinfectants that are effective against envelopes viruses.
You will be provided with training on how to safely dilute (if applicable) the specific substances you use, so you can use one of these methods where required.
Always clean in one direction. This means you should always clean from top to the bottom and in one horizontal direction i.e. from left to right or right to left. This is to prevent cross contamination.
High traffic touchpoints
High traffic touchpoints are a priority to clean in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus. High traffic touchpoints are points like light switches, plugs, handles and more.
Further steps to follow when cleaning after a suspected case of COVID-19 include the following:
- Regularly change your gloves when working in different rooms
- Work carefully to minimise sprays and splashes
- Never shake any potentially contaminated laundry it should be removed carefully to minimise the risks of spreading the virus appropriately. Clean and disinfect any equipment used for transporting laundry
- Wash any potentially contaminated laundry items adhering to the manufacturers guidance using the warmest water setting stated. Ensure that all laundered items are dried completely. Potentially contaminated laundry does not need to be washed separately.
- Use steam cleaning methods for objects that are not heavily contaminated and cannot be cleaned using detergents or laundered such as upholstered furniture and carpets
- Dispose of any items that are heavily contaminated with body fluids and cannot be cleaned by washing
When cleaning after a suspected case of COVID-19 it is essential to dispose of any cloths, paper towels or mop heads used.
You should place all waste into a plastic bin bag and tie it. The tied bag should then be put into a second bin bag, tied and marked as ‘infectious’ and for storage. The bags should be securely stored, away from communal waste areas, for at least 72 hours while awaiting the affected individuals test results.
If the individuals test is negative, the bag can be put in the normal way stream. when the results are received you do not have to wait for the 72 hours to be up.
if they test positive for COVID-19, the bag must be securely stored for the total 72 hours and then put in the normal way stream.
Note: If a suspected individual is not tested for whatever reason you should hold the waste for the full 72 hours as a precaution before placing it into your normal waste stream.
If the organisation is unable to store potentially contaminated waste securely away from communal waste areas for 72 hours employers will need to arrange for collection of the waste as category B infectious waste.
collection should be arranged by the council or a specialist clinical waste contractor they will provide suitable orange clinical waste bags to place the potentially contaminated waste in.
Note: the whole double bagged and tied bin bag should be placed into the orange clinical waste bag.