COVID-19: Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility if Someone is Sick

disinfecting an area after covid

COVID-19: Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility if Someone is Sick

As businesses reopen across the country, employers are faced with new challenges in keeping their employees safe and healthy while they are at work. Many employers have stepped up cleaning protocols, incorporating the latest advice from the CDC for disinfecting and sanitizing surfaces in their efforts to prevent their employees from getting sick. However, the likelihood that an employee will eventually test positive for COVID-19 from external activities is still very high.

Employers are encouraged to plan for this eventuality in many ways, including requiring sick employees to stay home, encouraging mask use in areas where physical distancing is not possible, and implementing work from home options where possible.

The CDC also provides guidance for disinfecting the workplace after one of your employees tests positive for the illness to limit the risk to others in the same workspace.

Cleaning and disinfecting your building or facility if someone is sick – CDC.gov

  • Close off areas used by the person who is sick.
    • Companies do not necessarily need to close operations, if they can close off affected areas.
  • Open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area.
  • Wait 24 hours before you clean or disinfect. If 24 hours is not feasible, wait as long as possible.
  • Clean and disinfect all areas used by the person who is sick, such as offices, bathrooms, common areas, shared electronic equipment like tablets, touch screens, keyboards, remote controls, and ATM machines.
  • Vacuum the space if needed. Use vacuum equipped with high-efficiency particular air (HEPA) filter, if available.
    • Do not vacuum a room or space that has people in it. Wait until the room or space is empty to vacuum, such as at night, for common spaces, or during the day for private rooms.
    • Consider temporarily turning off room fans and the central HVAC system that services the room or space, so that particles that escape from vacuuming will not circulate throughout the facility.
  • Once area has been appropriately disinfected, it can be opened for use.
    • Workers without close contact with the person who is sick can return to work immediately after disinfection.
  • If more than 7 days since the person who is sick visited or used the facility, additional cleaning and disinfection is not necessary.
    • Continue routing cleaning and disinfection. This includes everyday practices that businesses and communities normally use to maintain a healthy environment.

The above guidance was pulled from the official CDC documentation regarding COVID-19 in the workplace after a confirmed infection. Additional resources and advice:

General Guidelines: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/reopen-guidance.html

Restaurants & Bars: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/business-employers/bars-restaurants.html

Casinos & Gaming Institutions: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/business-employers/casinos-gaming-operations.html

Schools & Childcare Facilities: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/index.html

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