By Andrew H. PerellisJeryl L. OlsonPatrick D. Joyce, and Craig B. Simonsen

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Seyfarth Synopsis: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) jointly developed and released guidance that is generally intended for everybody, whether a business, a school, a nursing facility, or to ensure the cleanliness and safety of a private home. The guidance is part of the larger White House plan and focuses on cleaning and disinfecting public spaces, workplaces, businesses, schools, and homes.

The full guidance and infographic consist of the Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Homes (PDF) and the Cleaning and Disinfecting Decision Tool.

The guidance provides a general framework for cleaning and disinfection practices, advising users to “Develop Your Plan, Implement Your Plan, and Maintain and Revise Your Plan.” Specific guidance includes the following:

  1. 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 and infection.
  2. Disinfection using EPA-approved disinfectants against COVID-19 according to their labels can also help reduce the risk of exposure and infection. Frequent disinfection of surfaces and objects touched regularly by multiple people is important.
  3. When EPA-approved disinfectants are not available, alternative disinfectants can be used (for example, 1/3 cup of bleach added to 1 gallon of water, or 70% alcohol solutions). Do not mix bleach or other cleaning and disinfection products together–this can cause fumes that may be very dangerous to breathe in. Keep all disinfectants out of the reach of children and store disinfectants according to their labels.
  4. Always wear gloves appropriate for the chemicals being used when you are cleaning and disinfecting. Additional personal protective equipment (PPE) may be needed based on the setting and product. For more information, read the product’s label and see CDC’s website on Cleaning and Disinfection for Community Facilities.
  5. Practice social distancing, wear facial coverings, and follow proper infection prevention hygiene, such as washing your hands frequently with soap and water and using alcohol-based (at least 60% alcohol) hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.

For more information on this or any related topic, please contact the authors, your Seyfarth attorney, or any member of the Workplace Safety & Environmental Team.