HEALTH

CDC updates COVID-19 cleaning guidance

Apr 6, 2021, 10:13 AM
cdc cleaning...
Michael Lee, Skyline High School custodian, cleans a classroom to get ready for the start of school at Skyline High School in Millcreek on Thursday, July 23, 2020. Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, has issued an update to its guidance for cleaning and disinfecting homes and other areas to protect against COVID-19.

On Monday, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in most instances, cleaning surfaces in homes and facilities with regular soap and water can reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

 

In addition to that, the CDC said studies have shown that it is possible to get infected through contact with a contaminated surface, the risk is low.

To that end, they said that a regular cleaning with soap and water works because it reduces the risk of infection because it physically removes germs from surfaces.

Why does soap work so well?

“This process does not necessarily kill germs, but reduces the risk of infection by removing them,” Walensky said. “Disinfecting uses a chemical product, which is a process that kills the germs on the surfaces. In most situations, regular cleaning of surfaces with soap and detergent, not necessarily disinfecting those surfaces, is enough to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread.”

With that information, Walensky said, “disinfection is only recommended in indoor-setting schools and homes where there has been a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19, within the last 24 hours.”

In their updated cleaning guidelines, the CDC notes four main points for when and how to clean surfaces in your home. They are:

  • Clean high-touch surfaces regularly (for example, daily) and after you have visitors in your home.
  • Focus on high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, tables, handles, light switches, and countertops.
  • Clean other surfaces in your home when they are visibly dirty or as needed. Clean them more frequently if people in your household are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19. You might also choose to disinfect.
  • Clean surfaces using a product suitable for each surface, following instructions on the product label.

The CDC also said that one of the highest returns in keeping the risk down is frequent hand-washing with soap and water for 20 seconds. 

 


How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronaviruses transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Wear a mask.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
  • Get a flu shot.
  • Get vaccinated.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A

Utah’s Coronavirus Information

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States

 

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CDC updates COVID-19 cleaning guidance