CDC Issues New Reopening Guidance for Businesses
As states begin the process of reopening, many businesses have reached out for clarification on how best to clean and prepare their spaces for operations. Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new “Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Homes.”
The general framework provided in this document recommends:
• 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 can also help reduce the risk. Frequent disinfection of surfaces and objects touched by multiple people is essential.
• 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--this can cause fumes that may be very dangerous to breathe in. Keep all disinfectants out of the reach of children.
Some other top-level items in the guidance include:
• Some surfaces only need to be cleaned with soap and water, including surfaces NOT frequently touched, and items handled by children.
• Outdoor areas generally require routine cleaning and do not require disinfection.
• The targeted use of disinfectants can be done effectively, efficiently, and safely on outdoor hard surfaces and objects frequently touched by multiple people. Certain outdoor areas and facilities, such as bars and restaurants, may have additional requirements.
• If your workplace, school, or business has been unoccupied for seven days or more, it will only need your routine cleaning to reopen the area.
Examples of frequently touched surfaces and objects that will need routine disinfection following reopening are:
• light switches,
• faucets and sinks,
• gas pump handles,
• touch screens, and
The CDC also published a two-page “Cleaning & Disinfecting Decision Tool” to further clarify the recommendations for specific surfaces and spaces.
Overall, all of the new guidance stresses the need for development, maintenance, and constant reevaluation of cleaning and disinfection plans at all levels using CDC and EPA guidelines.