Everyday Laboratory Guidance on COVID-19 Disinfection
This procedure follows relevant CDC guidelines regarding COVID 19 cleaning and disinfecting protocols.
- Cleaning refers to the removal of dirt and impurities, including germs, from surfaces.
- Cleaning alone does not kill germs. But by removing the germs, it decreases their number and therefore any risk of spreading infection.
- Disinfecting works by using chemicals, for example EPA-registered disinfectants, to kill germs on surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs.
- But killing germs remaining on a surface after cleaning further reduces any risk of spreading infection.
- Guidance and Instructions
- Practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces every day.
- Keep a cleaning and disinfection log: first of the day and the end of the day.
- More frequent cleaning and disinfection may be required based on level of use.
- Increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting,
- Focus on high-touch surfaces, such as buttons, light switches, countertops,
handles, phones, tables, benches, faucets, doorknobs, shared equipment, and
- Practice good hand hygiene after cleaning (and always!):
- Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. (See Poster)
- If soap and warm water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand
sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Create a Protocol
- Determine what risks to personal safety (such as a chemical reaction), equipment or experiments may exist by using the desired or available cleaner or disinfectant.
- Determine which cleaner(s) and disinfectant(s) will be used, and create the protocol.
Use these questions:
- What is the cleaning and disinfecting procedure (check the EPA list)?
- Who will clean and disinfect?
- How often will it be done (based on work arrangements and schedule)?
- How will it be recorded and monitored?
- What PPE is needed (e.g. gloves)?
- How will supplies be stored, inventoried and maintained?
- Document and submit your protocol to your Chair/ Director and firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Train everyone with access to the area on the protocol.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Wear disposable gloves while conducting cleaning/disinfecting activities (including when handling trash).
- Gowns are recommended to protect personal clothing.
- Gloves and gowns should be removed carefully to avoid contamination of the wearer and the surrounding area. Gloves and gowns should be discarded after each use.
- Clean hands with soap and water after removing gloves. (See Poster)
- Wear eye protection when there is a potential for splash or splatter to the face.
Cleaning and Disinfection
- If surfaces are dirty, clean using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
- Use a 10% diluted bleach solution, a solution with at least 70% alcohol, or an EPA
registered disinfectant for use against COVID-19 (EPA Registered antimicrobial
- Prepare a 10% bleach solution by doing the following: Mix five tablespoons of bleach per gallon of water (check the label to make sure bleach is suitable for disinfection).
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe and effective use of all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., dilution concentration, application method and contact time, required ventilation, and use of personal protective equipment).
Hard Non-Porous Surfaces
- Apply the disinfectant. To effectively kill the virus, make sure the surface stays wet with the disinfectant for the required amount of time before wiping with a clean towel.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products.
- If no manufacturer guidance is available, consider the use of alcohol-based wipes
sprays containing at least 70% alcohol to disinfect touch screens.
- To effectively kill the virus, make sure the surface stays wet with the disinfectant for the required amount of time.
- Dry surfaces thoroughly to avoid pooling of liquids.
Soft Porous Surfaces (lab coats, carpet, cloth covered chairs)
- In order to minimize the possibility of dispersing virus through the air, do not shake dirty laundry.
- Clean the surface using soap and water or with cleaners appropriate for use on these surfaces.
- Launder items (if possible) according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely.
- If laundering is not possible, use an EPA-registered disinfectant for use against COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) EPA Registered antimicrobial products
Cleaning and disinfecting your lab or facility after a worker or visitor
tests positive for COVID-19
- Close off areas used by the person who is sick.
- Follow all applicable NM Department of Health guidance.
- Wait at least 24 hours before you clean or disinfect.
- Coordinate a disinfection plan with NMT’s Biosafety Officer and Custodial Supervisors.
- Due to sensitive equipment and chemicals in the lab and to insure proper
disinfection, coordination between the lab’s PI, NMT Biosafety Officer, and NMT
Custodial Supervisor is a must!
- Once the 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 it has been more than 7 days since the person who is sick visited or used the lab
facility, additional cleaning and disinfection is not necessary.
- Continue routing cleaning and disinfection. This includes everyday cleaning and