Transmission of COVID-19
The virus that causes COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, is mainly spread by direct or close contact with an infected individual when they cough or sneeze. This risk is greater in crowded confined areas than in open outside spaces.
It is conceivable, but thought less likely, that infection will happen if someone touches a contaminated object or surface and then touches their mouth, nose, or eyes without first washing their hands. You can protect yourself by becoming completely vaccinated, remaining at home if you’re sick, wearing a mask, routinely washing your hands, keeping a physical distance from others, and tracking your activities for contact tracing.
COVID-19 transmission can be reduced by increasing air circulation and properly cleaning and sanitizing surfaces. More information is provided below.
Principles of general hygiene
- Hand hygiene is crucial for preventing the spread of infectious droplets to oneself, others, and other surfaces.
- Hands should be washed and dried thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If you don’t have soap or water and your hands aren’t obviously dirty, use hand sanitizer (containing at least 60 percent alcohol). Cover all of your hand’s surfaces and massage them together until they feel dry.
- To limit the risk of viral transmission from infected surfaces or objects, avoid touching the face (eyes, nose, or mouth).
Enhancing air quality
Improving air quality in rooms by increasing the supply of fresh air can assist to limit COVID-19 transmission by preventing virus particles from accumulating in the air.
Steps you may take to improve air flow include:
- Keep doors and windows open to allow for better ventilation.
- Air conditioning and ventilation systems should be serviced on a regular basis.
- For specialised recommendations, business owners should consult a qualified heating and ventilation professional.
Lowering surface transmission
SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has a thin outer membrane and can only persist on surfaces for a short period of time before being killed by effective washing and disinfection using regular cleaning and disinfecting solutions.
- Using a detergent and water solution, cleaning is required to physically remove germs (bacteria and viruses), dirt, and grime from surfaces. It is a necessary initial step in any disinfection procedure.
- Disinfecting surfaces with chemicals kills microorganisms. Cleaning before disinfection is essential because dirt and grime can impair the effectiveness of disinfectants to kill bacteria. Disinfectant concentration and contact duration are other important factors in surface disinfection.
- When there hasn’t been a suspected or confirmed incidence of COVID-19 inside, the environment is considered low risk.
- In general, doing efficient cleaning with detergent (rather than disinfectant) at least once a day significantly reduces virus levels on surfaces.
- Surfaces that are handled often during the day, such as doorknobs, light switches, laptops, and tabletops, should be cleaned more frequently to lower the relatively low transmission risk from surfaces even more.
- A higher risk setting is one in which a suspected or confirmed incidence of COVID-19 has occurred inside during the past 24 hours.
- Allow as much time as possible (at least several hours) before cleaning and disinfecting.
- Open windows to promote air flow/ventilation (where possible).
- To limit the risk of illness from contacting surfaces, clean and disinfect with household/supermarket products.
- Clean and disinfect frequently handled surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches, laptops, and tabletops, which are more prone to contamination and hence require more regular cleaning.
Cleaning technique that is suggested
- Use a product appropriate for each surface, following the recommendations on the product label and wearing any personal protection equipment required to protect yourself from chemicals.
- Surfaces should be cleaned with detergent and then disinfected.
- If disinfectants are needed, make certain that they are effective against the COVID-19 virus. To use them properly and effectively, follow the directions. Dwell times are required before drying a surface with a clean towel to kill germs. Dwell times are the length of time a product should remain wet on a surface.
- Begin by cleaning higher-up surfaces and work your way down to the floor. This procedure guarantees that any particles, dust, or debris fall to the floor and are cleaned last.
- First, clean surfaces and things that aren’t touched all that often.
- Work your way up to cleaning more regularly touched things that are more likely to be contaminated (e.g., door handles and toilets).
- Avoid moving from a dirty to a clean area. This prevents contaminating the cleansed area and ensures that no objects or surfaces are cross-contaminated.
- After each usage, wash the cloths and mop heads.
- When you’re done, wash and dry your hands.
You may cover your hands from cleaning chemicals by using household gloves when cleaning/disinfecting. When you’re done, wash your reusable household gloves, then wash and dry your hands. If you’re wearing disposable gloves, take them off after usage, toss them in the trash, and then wash and dry your hands.