Q: What kind of protection should be worn when cleaning an area that's potentially contaminated with SARS-CoV-2?
A: When dealing with potential SARS-CoV-2 contamination, the CDC recommends wearing disposable gloves and gowns for all cleaning tasks, including handling trash. When cleaning is finished, workers should take off gloves and gowns carefully to avoid contaminating themselves or their surroundings. Additional PPE may be required to protect against exposure to hazardous cleaners or disinfectants, according to OSHA's PPE standards for general industry. Consult manufacturers' instructions and the product safety data sheets (SDSs) for more guidance on what PPE may be required, and read this article for tips on understanding SDSs. If the area is contaminated with potentially infectious materials such as body fluids or blood, workers may also need face masks and eye protection, according to OSHA. Keep in mind that cloth face coverings are not considered PPE. Learn more about OSHA's bloodborne pathogens standard here.
Q: What kind of disinfectant should be used to clean in an area that may be contaminated with the virus that causes COVID-19?
A: Use EPA-registered disinfectants that meet the agency's criteria for effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Q: What is disinfectant contact time?
A: The contact time is the length of time that the treated surface must be visibly wet for the disinfectant to be effective. The EPA lists contact times for its approved disinfectants. These times can be as short as 15 seconds or as long as 30 minutes, depending on the product.
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