CDC updates guidance on cleaning and disinfecting homes or workplaces

Only where there is a suspected or confirmed case of covid is it necessary to disinfect indoor surfaces, says the CDC now. Cleaning surfaces with regular soap products is good enough, otherwise.


The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) updated its guidance on cleaning and disinfecting facilities and now says that “when nobody with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 are known to have been in a space, cleaning once a day is usually enough to sufficiently remove the virus that may be on surfaces and help maintain a healthy facility.”

The guidance is still clear that the virus that causes COVID-19 can land on surfaces and people can become infected if they touch those surfaces and then touch their nose, mouth, or eyes.


“In most situations, the risk of infection from touching a surface is low,” the CDC said. “The most reliable way to prevent infection from surfaces is to regularly wash hands or use hand sanitizer.”


The guidance lists situations when people may want to either clean more frequently or choose to disinfect, in addition to cleaning, in shared spaces that can increase the risk of infection from touching surfaces. The conditions are the high transmission of COVID-19 in your community; a low number of people wearing masks; infrequent hand hygiene; or when space is occupied by certain populations, such as people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.


In highlighted letters, the document advises: “If there has been a sick person or someone who tested positive for COVID-19 in your facility within the last 24 hours, you should clean AND disinfect the space.”

Some specific recommendations


The CDC also brought, in the document, some specific tips for cleaning certain materials, such as carpets, clothes, towels and sheets, check out:


Soft surfaces, such as carpets, rugs, and curtains:

- Clean the surface using a product containing soap, detergent, or other type of cleaner appropriate for use on these surfaces.

- Launder items (if possible) according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely.

- Vacuum as usual.


Soft surfaces, such as carpets, rugs, and curtains:

- Use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely.

- It is safe to wash dirty laundry from a person who is sick with other people’s items.

- If handling dirty laundry from a person who is sick, wear gloves and a mask.

- Clean clothes hampers or laundry baskets according to guidance for surfaces.

- Wash hands after handling dirty laundry.


Electronics such as tablets, touch screens, keyboards, remote controls, and ATM machines:

- Consider putting a wipeable cover on electronics, which makes cleaning and disinfecting easier.

- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations for cleaning the electronic device.


Outdoor areas:

- Spraying cleaning products or disinfectants in outdoor areas – such as on sidewalks, roads, or groundcover – is not necessary, effective, or recommended.

- High-touch surfaces made of plastic or metal, such as grab bars, play structures, and railings, should be cleaned regularly.

- Cleaning and disinfection of wooden surfaces (such as wood play structures, benches, tables) or groundcovers (such as mulch and sand) is not recommended.



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