In addition to implementing policies that allow for social distancing and increased ventilation, businesses should also implement cleaning and disinfecting practices. In most cases, surfaces should be both cleaned and disinfected, particularly frequently used surfaces such as door handles, light switches, and appliances.
· Cleaners, sanitizers, and disinfectants defined: Cleaners remove dirt and germs before disinfecting, sanitizers reduce germs to safe levels, and disinfectants destroy almost all infectious germs.
· Use approved disinfectants on the EPA’s List N of Disinfectants for COVID-19, and use safety precautions such as wearing disposable gloves as well as skin and eye protection while disinfecting. Wash hands after removing gloves.
· Wipe down frequently used surfaces and consider placing wipeable covers on electronic devices.
· Any items that can be laundered should be washed on the highest possible temperature, and hampers should be cleaned and disinfected.
Sources and Additional Resources
· 6 Steps for Safe & Effective Disinfectant Use from the Environmental Protection Agency
· Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
· CDC Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Homes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
This FAQ was written in consultation with Carolina PROSPER. For more information about their work in helping North Carolina businesses to survive and thrive during the pandemic, visit their website and follow them on social media (@NCOSHERC on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn). Their full report on Workplace Safety & Health During COVID-19 is also available here.