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June 22, 2020: Cleaning and Disinfecting

As New York State moves forward with gradual reopening it is essential that we maintain our guard and continue to take everyday precautions to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Current evidence suggests that the coronavirus may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials. Cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is a best practice for prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in households and community settings.

Cleaning refers to the removal of germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. It does not kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.

Disinfecting refers to using chemicals, for example, EPA-registered disinfectants, to kill germs on surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.

An everyday precaution that should be taken is routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks, cell phones, two-way radios and electronics) with household cleaners and EPA-registered disinfectants that are appropriate for the surface.

Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product. Always follow label instructions, for example.

  • Consider wearing disposable gloves and eye protection if the potential for splashing exists, although under normal circumstances, this is unlikely to occur.
  • Ensure adequate ventilation
  • Use no more than the amount recommended on the label
  • Use water at room temperature for dilution (unless stated otherwise on the label)
  • Avoid mixing chemical products
  • Label diluted cleaning solutions
  • Store and use chemicals out of the reach of children and pets
  • Never store cleaning or disinfecting chemicals in food or beverage containers

You should never eat, drink, breathe or inject these products into your body or apply directly to your skin as they can cause serious harm. Do not wipe or bathe pets with these products or any other products that are not approved for animal use.

When you are using disinfectant wipes to clean surfaces or objects, wear gloves and be sure to discard the wipes while still wearing gloves.

Remove gloves carefully to avoid exposure to the disinfectant.

Gloves should be discarded after each cleaning.

Wash hands with soap and water after removing gloves.