Top 3 questions usually asked about home and office disinfection
It’s almost the end of 2020 and Covid-19 seems to be staying until no one knows when. We can not be too careful when it comes to preventing this disease from hitting our home and office. When we say we want to be really careful, we assume that all people that we meet, whether family, friends or officemates, might be infected without our knowledge. As such, home and office disinfection have become our second nature.
Though the difficulty of this situation seems to loom indefinitely, it is a relief that guidelines on home and office disinfection are published by trusted resources such as CDC and WHO.
What areas should be prioritized for home and office disinfection?
Home and Office Disinfection practices are important to reduce the potential for Covid-19 virus contamination in office, schools, gyms, publicly accessible buildings, churches, markets, transportation and business settings or restaurants.
High touch surfaces in these non-health care facilities should be identified and prioritized such as door and window handles, kitchen and food preparation areas, counter tops, bathroom surfaces, toilets and taps, touchscreen personal devices, personal computer keyboards, and work surfaces.
Which disinfectants are effective against Covid-19 for home and office disinfection?
For home and office disinfection, the most accessible disinfectants are:
i. Sodium hypochlorite (bleach / chlorine). This may be used at a recommended concentration of 0.1% or 1,000ppm (1 part of 5% strength household bleach to 49 parts of water).
ii. Alcohol at 70-90% can also be used for surface disinfection.
For disinfecting homes and offices, surfaces must be cleaned with water and soap or a detergent first to remove dirt, followed by disinfection. Cleaning should always start from the least soiled (cleanest) area to the most soiled (dirtiest) area in order to not spread the dirty to areas that are less soiled.
All disinfectant solutions should be stored in opaque containers, in a well-ventilated, covered area that is not exposed to direct sunlight and ideally should be freshly prepared every day.
What protection measures should people take when doing home and office disinfection?
It is important to reduce your risk when using disinfectants. For safe and effective home and office disinfection, please see below tips:
a. The disinfectant and its concentration should be carefully selected to avoid damaging surfaces and to avoid or minimize toxic effects on household members (or users of public spaces).
b. Avoid combining disinfectants, such as bleach and ammonia, since mixtures can cause respiratory irritation and release potentially fatal gases.
c. Keep children, pets and other people away during the conduct of the home or office disinfection until it is dry and there is no odor
d. Open windows and use fans to ventilate. Step away from odors if they become too strong. Prior to home and office disinfection, disinfectant solutions should always be prepared in well-ventilated areas.
e. Wash your hands after using any disinfectant, including surface wipes.
f. Keep lids tightly closed when not in use. Spills and accidents are more likely to happen when containers are open.
g. Do not allow children to use disinfectant wipes. Keep cleaning fluids and disinfectants out of the reach of children and pets.
h. Throw away disposable items like gloves and masks if they are used during cleaning. Do not clean and re-use.
i. Do not use disinfectant wipes to clean hands or as baby wipes.
j. The minimum recommended personal protective equipment when doing home and office disinfection is rubber gloves, waterproof aprons and closed shoes. Eye protection and medical masks may also be needed to protect against chemicals in use or if there is a risk of splashing.
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