While in use, halls and other indoor areas should be cleaned and disinfected regularly.
Soiled surfaces and spills should be cleaned with water and detergent – this can be in the form of a detergent solution or wipes.
Frequently touched surfaces should be cleaned and then disinfected with either a disinfectant spray (e.g. bleach cleaner, Glen 20, or Quaternary Ammonium compounds, etc) or disinfectant wipes, such as wipes containing Quaternary Ammonium compounds (e.g. benzalkonium chloride).
2-in-1 sprays and wipes (cleaner and disinfectant) can also be used.
Kitchen utensils used should be thoroughly washed in a normal manner (either by hand or in a dishwasher).
Fabric material (tea towels, clothes, etc) that cannot be wiped with bleach should be washed as normal in a washing machine etc.
The use of fogging machines for disinfectant of indoor spaces is not recommended by Department of Health.
Cleaning should be undertaken using a standard detergent that is appropriate for the surface. Disinfectants normally need a clean surface, so soiled surfaces should be cleaned mechanically (e.g. by cloth, brush, etc) with a standard detergent.
The correct disinfectant and application method should be chosen based on the item being cleaned:
Bleach is the most effective and can be purchased cheaply in larger quantities. Bleach is also very effective on other bacteria and viruses, such as preventing gastro. However, bleach is corrosive and an irritant to skin and will fade material and can damage fabrics and stitching.
Quaternary Ammonium Compounds (QACs or Quats)
QACs (e.g. benzalkonium chloride) are effective at very low concentrations and come as a spray, wipes, or concentrated solution. They are safe at low concentrations (e.g. they are commonly used as preservatives in eye drops), however they are corrosive at higher concentrations and should not be used on medical equipment.
Alcohol-based disinfectants are simple to apply for a regular wipe-down of frequently touched surface and are the most appropriate for use on human skin. However an alcohol-based disinfectant is generally less effective, particularly on other bacteria and viruses such as gastro, so are not sufficient for cleaning bathrooms or food preparation areas. If using an alcohol-based disinfectant spray, sufficient must be applied to wet the entire surface and it should be allowed to dry thoroughly. It is not effective to just spray and wipe off.
There is no longer a requirement to undertake a COVID Deep Clean after an exposure unless it is by direction from the Department of Health following an outbreak. If there is a COVID-19 exposure, thorough cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces is required, including any items that could have been in contact with the positive case.
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