AHCA: COVID-19 – Update #6 - Implement Environmental Infection Control - Cleaning & Disinfection

Lisa Volk and Jackie Pappalardi in Clinical & Quality

Preventing and mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in long term care centers is the top priority. Environmental infection control practices are essential to reduce the risk of the virus entering nursing centers and assisted living communities. 

Detailed information on environmental infection control in health care settings can be found on the CDC website: Guidelines for Environmental Infection Control in Health-Care Facilities and Guidelines for Isolation Precautions

The following environmental infection control practices should be implemented immediately:

  • Hand washing stations or alcohol-based hand rubs should be immediately available at all entryways.
  • Dedicated medical equipment should be used for patient care, when possible. 
  • Between each use, non-disposable medical equipment should be cleaned and disinfected. This should be done according to manufacturer's instructions and facility policies.
  • Management of laundry, food service utensils, and medical waste should be performed in accordance with routine procedures.
  • Environmental cleaning and disinfection procedures should be supervised. This ensures that proper procedures are followed consistently and correctly. 

Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims are recommended for use against COVID-19. These products can be identified by the following claim: 

  • "[Product name] has demonstrated effectiveness against viruses similar to COVID-19 on hard nonporous surfaces. Therefore, this product can be used against COVID-19 when used in accordance with the directions for use against [name of supporting virus] on hard, nonporous surfaces." 

This claim will be made only through communication outlets such as:  

  • Technical literature distributed to health care facilities, physicians, nurses, and public health officials 
  • "1-800" consumer information services
  • Social media sites
  • Company websites

Specific claims for "COVID-19" will not appear on the product or master label. If there are no available EPA-registered products that have an approved emerging viral pathogen claim for COVID-19, products with label claims against human coronaviruses should be used according to label instructions.  

See additional information about EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims here.  

A template handout for housekeeping staff on cleaning protocol is available here . You can modify as needed for your facility's needs. 

Please email COVID19@ahca.org for additional questions, and visit www.ahcancal.org/coronavirus for more information and resources.

NYSHFA/NYSCAL CONTACTS:

Lisa Volk, RN, B.P.S., LNHA
Director, Clinical & Quality Services
518-462-4800 x15

Jackie Pappalardi, RN, BSN
Executive Director
518-462-4800 x16