- Normal routine cleaning with soap and water will decrease how much of the virus is on surfaces and objects, which reduces the risk of exposure.
- Disinfection using disinfectants against COVID-19 can also help reduce the risk. Frequent disinfection of surfaces and objects touched by multiple people is important.
- When disinfectants are not available, alternative disinfectants can be used (for example, 1/3 cup of bleach added to 1 gallon of water, or 70% alcohol solutions). Do not mix bleach or other cleaning and disinfection products together–this can cause fumes that may be very dangerous to breathe in. Keep all disinfectants out of the reach of children.
A Few Important Reminders from the CDC about Coronaviruses and Reducing the Risk of Exposure:
- Coronaviruses on surfaces and objects naturally die within hours to days. Warmer temperatures and exposure to sunlight will reduce the time the virus survives on surfaces and objects.
- Normal routine cleaning with soap and water removes germs and dirt from surfaces. It lowers the risk of spreading COVID-19 infection.
- Disinfectants kill germs on surfaces. By killing germs on a surface after cleaning, you can further lower the risk of spreading infection.
If disinfectants are in short supply, alternative disinfectants can be used (for example, 1/3 cup of bleach added to 1 gallon of water, or 70% alcohol solutions).
- Store and use disinfectants in a responsible and appropriate manner according to the label.
Do not mix bleach or other cleaning and disinfection products together–this can cause fumes that may be very dangerous to breathe in. Keep all disinfectants out of the reach of children.
- Do not overuse or stockpile disinfectants or other supplies. This can result in shortages of appropriate products for others to use in critical situations.
- Always wear gloves appropriate for the chemicals being used when you are cleaning and disinfecting. Additional personal protective equipment (PPE) may be needed based on setting and product. For more information, see CDC’s website on Cleaning and Disinfection for Community Facilities.
- Practice social distancing, wear facial coverings, and follow proper prevention hygiene, such as washing your hands frequently and using alcohol-based (at least 60% alcohol) hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
As per the CDC:
If your workplace, school, or business has been unoccupied for 7 days or more, it will only need your normal routine cleaning to reopen the area. This is because the virus that causes COVID-19 has not been shown to survive on surfaces longer than this time.
Some surfaces only need to be cleaned with soap and water. For example, surfaces and objects that are not frequently touched should be cleaned and do not require additional disinfection.
Frequently touched surfaces and objects like light switches and door knobs will need to be cleaned and then disinfected to further reduce the risk of germs on surfaces and objects.
Examples of frequently touched surfaces and objects that will need routine disinfection following reopening are:
- tables/chairs – BETWEEN EACH SEATING
- doorknobs – HOURLY
- light switches – HOURLY
- countertops – CONTINUALLY (EVERY 15-20 MINUTES)
- cooler handles – HOURLY
- desks – DAILY
- phones – HOURLY
- keyboards – HOURLY
- toilets – HOURLY
- faucets and sinks – HOURLY
- touch screens – HOURLY
We have all had to make significant behavioral changes to reduce the spread of COVID-19. To reopen we will need to continue these practices:
- -social distancing (specifically, staying 6 feet away from others when you must go into a shared space)
- -frequently washing hands or use alcohol-based (at least 60% alcohol) hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available
- -wearing cloth face coverings
- -avoiding touching eyes, nose, and mouth
- -staying home when sick
- -cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces