- Personal protective equipment (PPE)
The minimum PPE to be worn for cleaning an area after a person with symptoms of COVID-19, or confirmed COVID-19, has left the setting, is disposable gloves and an apron. Wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds after all PPE has been removed.
If a risk assessment of the setting indicates that a higher level of the virus may be present (for example, where someone unwell has spent the night such as in a hotel room or boarding school dormitory) then additional PPE to protect the cleaner’s eyes, mouth and nose may be necessary. The local Public Health England (PHE) Health Protection Team can advise on this.
- Cleaning and disinfection
All surfaces that the symptomatic person has come into contact with should be cleaned and disinfected, including all potentially contaminated and frequently touched areas such as bathrooms, door handles, telephones, grab rails in corridors and stairwells.
Avoid mixing cleaning products together as this can create toxic fumes. Avoid creating splashes and spray when cleaning.
Any clothes and mop heads used must be disposed of and should be put into waste bags.
- What to do with the Waste from someone with COVID-19 symptoms?
Personal waste from individuals with symptoms of COVID-19 and waste from cleaning of areas where they have been (including PPE, disposable cloths and used tissues):
1. Should be put in a plastic rubbish bag and tied when full
2. The plastic bag should then be placed in a second bin bag and tied
3. This should be put in a suitable and secure place and marked for storage until the individual’s test results are known
This waste should be stored safely and kept away from children. It should not be placed in communal waste areas until negative test results are known, or the waste has been stored for at least 72 hours.
If the individual tests negative, this can be disposed of immediately with the normal waste.
If COVID-19 is confirmed this waste should be stored for at least 72 hours before disposal with normal waste.
If during an emergency you need to remove the waste before 72 hours, it must be treated as Category B infectious waste. You must:
- keep it separate from your other waste
- arrange for collection by a specialist contractor as hazardous waste
There will be a charge for this service.
Other household waste can be disposed of as normal.