Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility
Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility
Every Day and When Someone is Sick
Updated Apr. 5, 2021
Additional Considerations for Employers
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:
High transmission of COVID-19 in your community,
Low number of people wearing masks,
Infrequent hand hygiene, or
The space is occupied by certain populations, such as people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19
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.
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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
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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
Clean and Disinfect Your Facility When Someone is Sick
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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.