Cleaning and Disinfection Protocol for (COVID-19)
There is much to learn about the novel coronavirus that causes coronavirus disease 2019(COVID-19). Based on what is currently known about the virus, spread from person-to-person happens most frequently among close contacts (within about 2 metres). This type of transmission occurs via respiratory droplets. Transmission of novel coronavirus to persons from surfaces contaminated with the virus has not been documented. Transmission of coronavirus in general occurs much more commonly through respiratory droplets than through fomites. Current evidence suggests that novel coronavirus may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials. Cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in community settings.
This guidance provides Northern Contract Cleaning’s recommendations on the cleaning and disinfection of rooms or areas of those with suspected or with confirmed COVID-19 have visited. It is aimed at limiting the survival of novel coronavirus in key environments. These recommendations will be updated if additional information becomes available. These guidelines are focused on community, non-healthcare facilities (e.g., Councils, schools, institutions of higher education, offices, day-care centres, businesses, community centres) that do not house persons overnight. These guidelines are not meant for cleaning staff in healthcare facilities or repatriation sites, households, or for others for whom specific guidance already exists.
• Community facilities (e.g., schools, day-care centres, businesses) comprise most non-healthcare settings that are visited by the general public outside of a household.
• Cleaning refers to the removal of dirt and impurities, including germs, from surfaces. Cleaning alone does not kill germs. But by removing the germs, it decreases their number and therefore any risk of spreading infection.
• Disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs. But killing germs remaining on a surface after cleaning further reduces any risk of spreading infection.
Cleaning and Disinfection After Persons Suspected/Confirmed to Have COVID-19 Have Been in the Facility
NOTIFY NORTHERN CONTRACT CLEANING IMMEDIATELY ON 1300 764 841
Timing and location of cleaning and disinfection of surfaces
• At a school, day-care center, office, or other facility that does not house people overnight:
- It is recommended to close off areas used by the ill persons and wait as long as practical before beginning cleaning and disinfection to minimize potential for exposure to respiratory droplets. Open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area. If possible, wait up to 24 hours before beginning cleaning and disinfection.
- Cleaning staff should clean and disinfect all areas (e.g., offices, bathrooms, and common areas) used by the ill persons, focusing especially on frequently touched surfaces.
Northern Contract Cleaning Procedure for Cleaning and Disinfecting procedure
Northern Contract Cleaning staff will minimise the risk of being infected with coronavirus by wearing gloves and using alcohol-based hand sanitiser before and after wearing gloves. If cleaning areas of the workplace where a person with a confirmed case of coronavirus or a person in isolation has frequented, staff may wish to wear a surgical mask as an added precaution. If a confirmed case of coronavirus or a person in isolation is in a room that cleaning staff need to enter, they may ask them to put on a surgical mask if they have one
available. Northern Contract Cleaning’s supplier, Agar Chemicals, has at least four products that are expected to be effective on the corona-virus. These are:
o Alcohol Sanitiser
o Cool Tide
Safety Data Sheets and PDS available from https://agar.com.au
If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection. According to the Australian Government Department of Health, to minimise the spread of any germs you should regularly wash surfaces that are frequently touched such as door handles, light switches, kitchen and bathroom areas. Northern Contract Cleaning will utilise the above-mentioned chemicals containing the virus killing constituent.
Further Valuable Information on Procedures
Diluted household bleach solutions can be used if appropriate for the surface. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.
Prepare a bleach solution by mixing:
• 5 teaspoons bleach per Litre of water
• Products with GECA-approved emerging viral pathogens are expected to be effective against COVID-19 based on data for harder to kill viruses. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, etc.).
• For soft (porous) surfaces such as carpeted floor, rugs, and drapes, remove visible contamination if present and clean with appropriate cleaners indicated for use on these surfaces. After cleaning:
• If the items can be laundered, launder items in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and then dry items completely.
• Otherwise, use products with the EPA or GECA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims) that are suitable for porous surfaces.
Linens, Clothing, and Other Items That Go in the Laundry
• Do not shake dirty laundry; this minimize the possibility of dispersing virus through the air.
• Wash items as appropriate in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry items completely. Dirty laundry that has been in contact with an ill person can be washed with other people’s items.
• Clean and disinfect hampers or other carts for transporting laundry according to guidance above for hard or soft surfaces.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Hand Hygiene:
• Northern Contract Cleaning staff will disposable gloves and gowns for all tasks in the cleaning process, including handling trash.
o Gloves and gowns will be compatible with the disinfectant products being used.
o Additional PPE might be required based on the cleaning/disinfectant products being used and whether there is a risk of splash.
o Gloves and gowns will be removed carefully to avoid contamination of the wearer and the surrounding area. Be sure to clean hands after removing gloves.
• Gloves will be removed after cleaning a room or area occupied by ill persons. Clean hands immediately after gloves are removed.
• Cleaning staff should immediately report breaches in PPE (e.g., tear in gloves) or any potential exposures to their supervisor.
• Cleaning staff and others should clean hands often, including immediately after removing gloves and after contact with an ill person, by washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly dirty, an alcohol-based han sanitizer that contains 60%-95% alcohol may be used. However, if hands are visibly dirty, always wash hands with soap and water.
• Follow normal preventive actions while at work and home, including cleaning hands and avoiding touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
o Additional key times to clean hands include:
▪ After blowing one’s nose, coughing, or sneezing
▪ After using the restroom
▪ Before eating or preparing food
▪ After contact with animals or pets
▪ Before and after providing routine care for another person who needs assistance (e.g., a child)
For national updates: https://www.health.gov.au/news/latest-information-about-novel-coronavirus