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March 2, 2021: Shared Space Reminders

Special considerations exist for preventing the spread of COVID-19 in shared spaces. Normal routine cleaning with soap and water will decrease how much of the virus is on surfaces and objects, which reduces the risk of exposure.  Disinfection using EPA-approved disinfectants against COVID-19 will further help reduce the risk.  Frequent disinfection of surfaces and objects touched by multiple people is important.  Here are some important reminders.

Shared Kitchens and Dining Areas

  • Clean and disinfect surfaces upon entering the space and once again when leaving.
  • Restrict the number of people allowed in kitchens and dining areas at one time so that everyone can stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) apart from one another.
  • Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, or eating utensils.
  • Non-disposable food service items used should be handled with gloves and washed with dish soap and hot water or in a dishwasher.
  • Wash hands after handling used food service items.
  • Gloves are recommended when removing garbage bags and handling and disposing of trash.

Laundry Rooms

  • Maintain access and adequate supplies to laundry facilities to help prevent spread of COVID-19.
  • Restrict the number of people allowed in laundry rooms at one time.
    • Do not crowd or congregate in laundry rooms.
  • Provide disposable gloves, soap for washing hands, and household cleaners and products from for residents and staff to clean and disinfect buttons, knobs, and handles of laundry machines, laundry baskets, and shared laundry items.

Frequently Touched Surfaces

Consider the following surfaces for cleaning when using shared spaces:

  • Coffee makers and microwaves
  • Refrigerator doors and handles
  • Kitchen and bathroom sinks, faucets, soap dispensers or fixtures that require hands to operate
  • Door handles, push plates and surrounding areas
  • Tables and chairs and desks
  • Buttons on vending machines
  • Handrails
  • Light switches, elevator call buttons and thermostats
  • Handles on equipment (e.g., athletic equipment)
  • Shared telephones
  • Shared computer keyboards and mice

Safe Use of Disinfectants

The virus that causes COVID-19 can be killed if you use the right products.  EPA has compiled a list of disinfectant products that can be used against COVID-19, including ready-to-use sprays, concentrates, and wipes.  Each product has been shown to be effective against viruses that are harder to kill than viruses like the one that causes COVID-19.  Use only products supplied by the campus, or consult with the EH&S department for help selecting disinfectants that are effective against the coronavirus.

Store and use disinfectants in a responsible and appropriate manner according to the label.

Disposable gloves are recommended when using chemicals for cleaning and disinfecting.

Use no more than the amount recommended on the label

Remember, to prevent COVID-19 from spreading masks are required per campus policy.