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COVID-19: Cleaning Guidance

Journal Watch By Kelly Young


The CDC on Monday updated its guidance on cleaning and disinfection. Among the recommendations:


  • If there have been no known people with COVID-19 in a space, then cleaning surfaces with soap or detergent once daily is usually sufficient to remove any virus that may be on the surface. Disinfection (with products recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency, linked below) or more frequent cleaning may be appropriate in communities with high transmission rates or low mask usage, among other factors.

  • If someone was sick or tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, then the facility should be cleaned and disinfected. If it's been more than 24 hours since the person was in the facility, cleaning is recommended; facilities can also choose to disinfect. If it has been more than 3 days, then no action is required.

  • The laundry of a COVID-19 patient can be washed and dried with laundry from healthy people in the household. People should wash their hands after handling dirty laundry.

  • High-touch metal and plastic outdoor surfaces (such as playground equipment and railings) should be cleaned regularly.


In terms of what not to do, the CDC says that fogging, fumigation, and electrostatic spraying generally are not recommended for surface disinfection and carry several safety risks. In addition, ultrasonic waves, high-intensity UV radiation, and LED blue light do not have proven effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2.

In other COVID-19 news, at least 46 cases can be traced back to a bar opening in rural Illinois, according to an MMWR article. The bar, which had an indoor capacity of 100 people, held an opening event in February 2021. Four people who attended had COVID-19 symptoms that day. One attendee tested positive for COVID-19 the day before but did not have symptoms. In all, 26 bar patrons and three employees tested positive. Seventeen secondary cases were identified. One attendee who tested positive worked at a long-term-care facility. Three people at the facility subsequently tested positive, one of whom was hospitalized. None of the COVID-19 patients linked to the long-term-care facility had been vaccinated, though vaccination had been offered. In addition, a school closed because of the outbreak, affecting 650 children.

The authors conclude: "These findings show that … transmission originating in a business such as a bar not only affects the patrons and employees of the bar but can also affect an entire community. As community businesses begin to reopen, considering additional prevention measures is important, such as limiting building occupancy levels and improving ventilation."


CDC guidance : https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/disinfecting-building-facility.html

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