Updated 5/21/20 with the latest info about how COVID-19 spreads, and a new video on the cleaning and disinfecting process.
We’re sure you’ve been following the emerging news about Coronavirus (COVID-19) that is spreading worldwide. There is a lot of information swirling around as people try to understand the virus, it's full possible impact, and what is or is not effective against it. We'll maintain this article as best we can to stay on top of the situation for your information.
COVID-19 AND DISINFECTING PRODUCTS:
As a maker of cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting products, we've had a lot of questions about what products kill Coronavirus. The truth is the virus that causes COVID-19 is a new, emerging virus. At this time no product can guarantee that it can kill COVID-19. However, the EPA has taken steps to identify products that would likely kill COVID-19.
The EPA has released a list of disinfectants that are EPA-registered and qualify under EPA's emerging pathogen program. Recently, the EPA added disinfectants that have the Human Coronavirus kill claim on their master label. These are deemed likely to kill the virus that causes COVID-19.
You can find that list here: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2
CLEANING & DISINFECTING
So what do you do if you want to be proactive about Coronavirus? It's important to remember that responsible infection control includes using a cleaner AND a disinfectant. As the CDC recommends, you should clean and THEN disinfect. With the wide-spread use of disinfectants, green cleaning products are an even more important tool to reduce the toxicity levels in the environment. We have a short video that covers this topic:
We have two products from the EPA-provided list we'd like to highlight:
EnvirOx Critical Care (EPA# 72977-3 -69268): follow directions and let dwell for 3 minutes. The formulation is a Ready-to-Use product.
EnvirOx Non-Acid Disinfectant Concentrate (EPA# 10324-63 -69268): follow directions on the label for Virucidal Performance (4 oz per 5 gal) and let dwell for 10 minutes. The formulation is a concentrated product, requiring dilution. Note that the Human Coronavirus claim does not appear on this product’s affixed label, but the product does carry the claim on the EPA Master Label, and hence is on the list.
Here's some information for context, along with the CDC's current recommendations to help contain the spread of the virus.
The latest CDC Information:
- The virus is called SARS-CoV2, the resulting disease is called coronavirus disease 2019, shortened to COVID-19.
- It has been detected across the globe:
Graphic from CDC, reflective of information from WHO. Blue equals COVID-19 reported.
- Based on what is currently known about the virus, spread from person-to-person happens most frequently among close contacts (within about 6 feet). This type of transmission occurs via respiratory droplets.1
There are still questions about how long the virus lasts on surfaces. A recent study from the National Institutes of Health suggested the virus could live on surfaces such as plastics or steel up to 2-3 days.2 In addition, the virus was found on the Diamond Princess cruise ship 17 days after passengers vacated the ship. However, this is likely due to the testing process involved, as the test wasn't specifically designed to test the presence of the virus that could actually infect someone.5
"Although the length of time that virus on a surface remains infectious is dependent on environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity, no virus remained infectious on surfaces for anywhere near 17 days. Furthermore, in both studies, the amount of infectious virus was greatly reduced after several days. This suggests that risk of infection from virus on objects or surfaces in the environment can be minimized by diligent cleaning and disinfection practices."5
At this time, the CDC's official stance on surface to person transmission is:
"It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, but we are still learning more about this virus."6
Social Distancing, Isolation, and Quarantine:
Social Distancing - staying away from others as much as possible to help prevent the spread of the disease. Some states are slowly reopening after issuing stay at home orders. It's still recommended to stay 6 feet away from others and to wear face coverings. Each state has specific guidelines.
Isolation - is the process of separating healthy people from those who have a contagious disease.3 Those who have traveled from an area where COVID-19 is widespread and who have not been quarantined are asked to self-isolate for two weeks as well.
Quarantine - this is about separating people who are healthy from people who do not show symptoms but have been exposed to a contagious disease.3
Hand Sanitizer vs. Washing Hands
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.4
- Use an alcohol-based sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.4
Face Mask Usage
Other CDC Guidelines
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.4