Cleaning and disinfection after a case

Last Updated: 20 Apr 2022 12:10pm

COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets produced when a person infected with the virus coughs or sneezes.

You can get COVID-19 by breathing in these droplets or, less commonly, by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching your own mouth, nose or eyes.

Following a case of COVID-19 in your setting, it's important to clean and disinfect contaminated areas as part of your COVID-19 Safety Plan.

There is no need to close an entire business/facility/setting while cleaning and disinfection is underway, particularly if the case only visited parts of the facility/setting.

Cleaning and disinfection after a case of COVID-19 follows the same principles as routine cleaning and disinfection, except:

  • cleaning staff should wear disposable gloves, a surgical mask plus eye protection or a face shield while cleaning and disinfecting the affected area
  • cleaners should be trained in putting on and removing personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • cleaning cloths and mops should be used to apply the detergent and disinfectant rather than any spraying machines
  • fabrics or fabric-covered items may need steam-cleaning or laundering

There are two main cleaning and disinfection methods you can use:

Two step – where the area is cleaned with detergent and water and then has a disinfectant applied (which may need to be rinsed off in food preparation areas).

Two in one – where a product is used that cleans and disinfects in one.

Note – only areas or surfaces that may have been touched by the COVID-positive case need to be cleaned and disinfected (not the whole facility/setting).

Resources

COVID-19 Information for workplaces – cleaning - Safe Work Australia

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Information about routine environmental cleaning and disinfection in the community - Australian Government Department of Health

COVID-19 Environmental cleaning and disinfection principles for health and residential care facilities - Australian Government Department of Health