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Proper Cleaning is Important

Review best practices, clean the major touch points, and use the right cleaning products.

Coronavirus is an enveloped virus, which means it can be effectively killed with disinfectant, and it appears to be able to survive only a few hours on surfaces.

Infection control and prevention begins with routine cleaning and sanitizing. Environmental services staff (EVS) need to be aware of the facility’s policies and procedures. Be sure to check in with EVS to ensure they have appropriate supplies, cleansing agents, access to areas that need to be cleaned, and are utilizing proper personal protective equipment (PPE) throughout their working shift.


Check with your vendors to learn what cleaning products and supplies to use for disinfecting and how to use them properly. Use any cleaning products according to the manufacturer’s instructions, or they may not be fully effective.

The CDC recommends using “products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims.” This means that while it may be too soon to label a product as definitely killing this virus, products approved for emerging viral pathogens are recommended.

Residents in their own apartments or homes can use the same cleaners or wipes in their residences as they usually do.

The major touch points to clean are the same as those for the flu:

  • Doorknobs
  • Handrails
  • Elevator buttons
  • Phones
  • Keyboards
  • You may also want to put wipes out in communal areas such as game rooms or exercise studios.

Use the appropriate cleaning solutions: The ones you use for regular flu-level cleaning are best, or see this EPA list of products.

Here are some tips to ensure that cleaning and sanitizing is effective.

  • The CDC has created FAQs about PPE that should be worn by EVS personnel. Take time to review it with your staff. King County Health Department has also provided Guidancefor Janitorial Staff.
  • Routine cleaning and disinfection procedures are appropriate for SARS-CoV-21 in healthcare settings, including those patient-care areas in which aerosol-generating procedures are performed. King County Health Department has shared guidance on Sanitizing and Disinfecting and on Routine Cleaning.
  • EPA-registered hospital-grade disinfectants with an emerging viral pathogens claim are recommended for use against SARS-CoV-2.
  • If there are no available EPA-registered products that have an approved emerging viral pathogen claim for COVID-19, products with label claims against human coronaviruses should be used according to label instructions.
  • Management of laundry, food service utensils, and medical waste should also be performed in accordance with routine procedures.
  • Ensure staff that they are a valued part of the team and remind them that if they are sick or symptomatic in any way, they need to stay home. Click here for CDC guidance for employers.
  • Remind staff members that their personal wellness and safety is also important. Encourage them to reach out if they have questions or concerns.
  • Another tip: Add periodic wipe-downs to the schedule or create a checklist of areas.
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