How should I clean if someone at my workplace is suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19?

If a person who has been at your workplace is suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, you must thoroughly clean and disinfect all areas of suspected contamination.

Close-off Area

Close off the affected area before cleaning and disinfection. Open outside doors and windows if possible to increase air circulation and then commence cleaning and disinfection.

Apply P.P.E

Those cleaning an area of suspected contamination need to be equipped with appropriate Personal protective equipment (PPE). This includes disposable gloves and safety eyewear to protect against chemical splashes.

If there is visible contamination with respiratory secretions or other body fluids in the area, the cleaning staff should also wear a disposable apron. If the person with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 is in the area to be cleaned (e.g. a hotel room), put on a surgical mask and ask the person to step outside if possible.

Clean your hands using soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or where this is not possible, hand sanitiser of with at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol as the active ingredient] before putting on and after removing PPE.

Clean & Disinfect

Clean and disinfect all areas (for example, offices, bathrooms and common areas) that were used by the suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19.

Clean and disinfect hard surfaces using either: a physical clean using detergent and water followed by a clean with 1,000 ppm bleach solution (2-step clean), for example, household bleach or hospital-grade bleach solutions that are readily available from retail stores. Bleach solutions should be made fresh daily.

A physical clean using a combined detergent and 1,000 ppm bleach solution (2-in-1 clean) made up daily from a concentrated solution (refer to the Department of Health website for more information on achieving the correct bleach solution).

Rinse and Dispose of Materials

Once cleaning and disinfection is complete, place disposable cloths, PPE and covers in a plastic rubbish bag, place it inside another rubbish bag (double-bagging) and dispose of the bag in the general waste.

Cleaning equipment including mop heads and cloths should be laundered using hot water and completely dried before re-use. Cleaning equipment such as buckets should be emptied and cleaned with a new batch of disinfectant and allowed to dry completely before re-use.

A Note on Suspending Operations:

There is no need to close down an entire workplace, while cleaning and disinfection takes place, particularly if the person infected, or suspected to be infected, has only visited parts of the workplace. However the cleaning and disinfection must occur before any workers return to affected areas.

Whether you need to suspend operations in your workplace will depend on factors such as the size of the workplace, nature of work, number of people, and suspected areas of contamination in your workplace.