Someone who tests positive for CoVid-19 is usually asked to isolate and given a room and bathroom to be used exclusively. Once CoVid19 runs its course, everything the infected person came in contacts with, such as the room(s), utensils, electronics the person used or the surfaces they came in contact with, require cleaning and disinfection. It is believed that the coronavirus, also known as SARS-CoV-2, can remain active from anywhere between a few hours to a few days across surfaces.
First, one must clean the dirty surfaces and then disinfect those surfaces. This is a best practice measure to prevent COVID-19 and various viral respiratory diseases from further spreading.
People often confuse cleaning with disinfecting; however, these are two different concepts:
- When one cleans, it removes dirt, impurities and germs from a surface. Cleaning brings down the germs but does not kill them. You can clean a surface using water and soap or an antiseptic liquid.
- Disinfecting a surface involves using medically approved chemicals to kill all the germs that are present on surfaces. After wiping down the infection or to reduce the spread of the infection, it is time for disinfection.
Disinfecting your home after someone who has recovered from CoVid
If possible, you should wait for about a week before you start cleaning and disinfecting the room used by the infected person. If the room is not required, it is best to close the door for a week & keep it off-limits. The longer you can wait to clean, the safer it becomes to do it.
If the cleaning and disinfecting needs to be done within 24 hours of the person’s recovery:
You will need to treat this scenario the same way you would if the person was sick. First, clean the area as the disinfectant doesn’t contain a cleanser. Clean and disinfect the surfaces that the ill person used, such as the bathroom and bedroom, and all the surfaces they could have touched – switches, tabletops, remote, TV etc. Since you are entering these areas within less than a day after the person has recovered, you should wear a mask and gloves to handle the room. Ventilate the room by opening up the windows and doors, switch on the fans to increase airflow.
If the cleaning & disinfecting occurs between 1 to 3 days, disinfection is not required since you have waited this period. You are good to go by just cleaning the areas that the infected person used.
If the cleaning & disinfecting occurs post three days of the person recovering: If you had cordoned off the area used by the unwell person for three days after they recovered, no additional or special cleaning is needed. You can go ahead with routine cleaning like you do.
To clean items, use a household detergent or soap along with water before you disinfect. This destabilizes the virus. Post this use a disinfectant that is recommended for coronavirus. Follow the instructions on the label carefully. The chemicals would be required to be left on the surface for a few minutes; make sure to wait else the disinfectant will not be effective. Disinfection does not happen instantly – it requires patience and time, without which it is ineffective.
Be very cautious while handling disinfectants such as bleach and chloroform, wear gloves and goggles at all times and post using them, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. If the instructions are not being followed, you may not successfully get rid of the virus remnants.
Follow the instructions for cleaning soft surfaces such as carpets, rugs, and drapes. Wash them in the highest temperature water possible.
How to clean & disinfect based on the surface
For soft surfaces, such as curtains, rugs, carpets, follow the specific washing directions based on the materials. You can wash a batch of such things in contact with the infected person in a washing machine using the warmest water temperature permissible.
For lines – bedsheets, bedcovers, clothing and other soft items, use the routine washing procedure. But do this batch separately; do not mix it with the clothes of other family members. Don’t shake the infected person’s (now recovered) dirty laundry as that could spread the active coronavirus in the air.
For devices such as TV remote controls, cell phones, and touch screens, follow the manufacturer’s instructions or use alcohol-based wipes. First, clean any visible dirt or contaminants.
For all your CoVid related medical needs, you should consider Healthskool Pharmacy – everything from pain killer medicines to antiseptic liquids to prescribed medication for any illness – they have everything stocked. In case of unavailability, they arrange it for you.