Recently (February 26th), the CDC updated their guidelines for schools operating during the COVID-19 Pandemic. This replaces the “Indicators for Dynamic School-Decision-Making" that has been in place since September of 2020. There are many different documents involved in their guidance, and you can review all of them here.
But here are the main takeaways when it comes to cleaning and disinfecting, many of which will be familiar:
(Updated March 1)
- Disinfection via a product from List N is preferred.
- Always use the suggested PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) when handling cleaning and disinfecting products.
- You should ALWAYS clean and THEN disinfect.
- Regular, routine cleaning can effectively reduce the risk of exposure.
- Outdoor areas should be cleaned but DO NOT require disinfection.
- Soft and porous materials are harder to disinfect. Consider removing non-essential items (such as rugs), and be sure to frequently launder or clean them using the highest temperature setting recommended by the manufacturer.
- Be sure to disinfect only the required surfaces. Do not over-disinfect. Some things to consider:
- Surfaces and objects NOT frequently touched should be cleaned but DO NOT require additional disinfection.
- Disinfectants should not typically be applied to items used by children, especially any they might put in their mouths.
- Examples of high-touch points that SHOULD BE disinfected include:
- light switches,
- faucets and sinks,
- gas pump handles,
- touch screens, and
- If you don’t have access to these, then bleach can be used. But be sure bleach contains between 5%-9% sodium hypochlorite.
- As with all cleaning and disinfecting products, follow the manufacturer’s dilution suggestions for bleach.
- NEVER mix bleach and other cleaning and disinfecting products. This can cause chemical reactions with dangerous vapors.
- Make a new diluted bleach solution every day, as it loses potency after 24 hours.