CDC Guidelines for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces and Workplaces

May 11, 2020

Regardless of your workplace environment, creating proper guidelines for cleaning and disinfection requires careful planning. The virus that causes COVID-19 can be killed with the right cleaners and disinfectants, and the EPA has compiled a list of products that can be used against COVID-19, including ready-to-use sprays, concentrates, and wipes. In addition to these products, routine cleaning with soap and water helps decrease the presence of the virus on surfaces and objects. When EPA-approved disinfectants are not available, alternative disinfectants can be used (for example, 70% alcohol solutions or 1/3 cup of bleach added to 1 gallon of water).

Things to remember about cleaning and Coronavirus exposure risks:

  • Coronaviruses on surfaces and objects naturally die within hours to days. Warmer temperatures and exposure to sunlight reduces the time the virus survives on surfaces and objects.
  • Disinfectants kill germs on surfaces. By killing germs on a surface after cleaning, you can further lower the risk of spreading infection.
  • 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 as it 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. 
  • 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.
  • Frequently touched surfaces and objects will need routine disinfection, including tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks, gas pump handles, touch screens, and ATM machines.

For more detailed guidance on best practices for reopening, please refer to the CDC Guidelines for Reopening.

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