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by Olga Loreto Olga Loreto No Comments

Cleaning and Disinfection of Households (COVID-19)

There is much to learn about the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Based on what is currently known about COVID-19, spread from person-to-person of this virus happens most frequently among close contacts (within about 6 feet). This type of transmission occurs via respiratory droplets. On the other hand, the transmission of novel coronavirus to persons from surfaces contaminated with the virus has not been documentedRecent studies indicate that people who are infected but do not have symptoms likely also play a role in the spread of COVID-19. Transmission of coronavirus occurs much more commonly through respiratory droplets than through fomites. Current evidence suggests that SARS-CoV-2 may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials. Cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for the prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in households and community settings.

It is unknown how long the air inside a room occupied by someone with confirmed COVID-19 remains potentially infectious. Facilities will need to consider factors such as the size of the room and the ventilation system design (including flowrate [air changes per hour] and location of supply and exhaust vents) when deciding how long to close off rooms or areas used by ill persons before beginning disinfection.  Taking measures to improve ventilation in an area or room where someone was ill or suspected to be ill with COVID-19 will help shorten the time it takes respiratory droplets to be removed from the air.

This guidance provides recommendations on the cleaning and disinfection of households where persons under investigation (PUI) or those with confirmed COVID-19 reside or maybe in self- isolation. It is aimed at limiting the survival of the virus in the environment. These recommendations will be updated if additional information becomes available.

These guidelines are focused on household settings and are meant for the general public.

  • Cleaning refers to the removal of germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. It does not kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.
  • Disinfecting refers to using chemicals, for example, EPA-registered disinfectants, to kill germs on surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.
General Recommendations for Routine Cleaning and Disinfection of Households
    • Community members can practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces (for example tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks, and electronics (see below for special electronics cleaning and disinfection instructions)) with household cleaners and EPA-registered that are appropriate for the surface, following label instructions. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during the use of the product.
      • For electronics follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products. Consider the use of wipeable covers for electronics. If no manufacturer guidance is available, consider the use of alcohol-based wipes or spray containing at least 70% alcohol to disinfect touch screens. Dry surfaces thoroughly to avoid the pooling of liquids.

If you need help with cleaning and disinfection contact us 866.334.9111 

by Olga Loreto Olga Loreto No Comments


EE&G is an environmental contracting and restoration firm with immediate response capabilities throughout the SE United States. EE&G is a National Expert in large scale Disinfection and Decontamination of microbial pathogens. EE&G has the staff and resources to respond immediately to your properties, sanitize and disinfect, so re-occupancy can occur quickly.

EE&G is a premier emergency and disaster response firm.

How COVID-19 Coronavirus Spreads

Person-to-person spread
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). Respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Can someone spread the virus without being sick?
People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest). Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus.

Spread from Contact with Contaminated Surfaces or Objects
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. A major challenge is the virus may be viable on surfaces up to 9 days after leaving its host!


It is IMPORTANT that potentially affected areas be disinfected before re-occupancy to minimize exposure! We will do the “dirty” work to get you back in business!

Why EE&G?

Emergency Response and Decontamination:

EE&G has performed hundreds of projects nationally involving pathogenic disinfection:

Recently, EE&G sanitized an office building, a daycare, and a school where a COVID-19 Virus impact occurred.
Sanitized a multi-story office building, a military barracks, and a jail impacted from an MRSA outbreak.
Sanitized and micro-cleaned multiple evacuation shelters and school buildings for infectious disease patients for the Red Cross following Hurricanes Michael, Irma, and Dorian.
Managed the collection and proper disposal of deceased and pathogen-ridden livestock from flooding Hurricane Floyd for the USACE.
Sanitized and micro-cleaned hospital sites for black-water spills and sewage backups.
Sanitized poultry facilities following the Avian Flu outbreak at poultry farms and processing facilities.
Sanitized rooms in Assisted Living Facilities after the death of the tenant or infectious disease outbreak.

EE&G is a licensed Mechanical Contractor in Florida and Georgia and has a trained team designated to cleaning and sanitizing air conveyance systems to include air handlers, ductwork and all air conveyance system components. EE&G uses State-of-the-Art equipment, work practices and a licensed, certified, and thoroughly trained workforce to clean and sanitize air conveyance systems.


Jay Kherani, (678) 938-0818, Jkherani@eegrestore.com
David Buono, (321) 615-4986, Dbuono@eegrestore.com

by Olga Loreto Olga Loreto No Comments

COVID-19 Clean & Disinfect / Interim Recommendations

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a new strain that was discovered in 2019 and has not been previously identified in humans.

Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people.  Detailed investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans. Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans.

Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, the infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death.

Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.

  • Wear disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. Gloves should be discarded after each cleaning. If reusable gloves are used, those gloves should be dedicated to cleaning and disinfection of surfaces for COVID-19 and should not be used for other purposes. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and disinfection products used. Clean hands immediately after gloves are removed.
  • If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
  • For disinfection, diluted household bleach solutions, alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol, and most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective.
    • Diluted household bleach solutions can be used if appropriate for the surface. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.
      • Prepare a bleach solution by mixing:
        • 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water or
        • 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water
    • Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims pdf icon external icon is expected to be effective against COVID-19 based on data for harder to kill viruses. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, etc.).
  • For soft (porous) surfaces such as carpeted floor, rugs, and drapes, remove visible contamination if present and clean with appropriate cleaners indicated for use on these surfaces. After cleaning:
    • Launder items as appropriate in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry items completely, or
      Use products with the EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims (examples at this link pdf icon external icon) that are suitable for porous surfaces.
 Clothing, towels, linens and other items that go in the laundry
  • Wear disposable gloves when handling dirty laundry from an ill person and then discard after each use. If using reusable gloves, those gloves should be dedicated to cleaning and disinfection of surfaces for COVID-19 and should not be used for other household purposes. Clean hands immediately after gloves are removed.
    • If no gloves are used when handling dirty laundry, be sure to wash hands afterward.
    • If possible, do not shake dirty laundry. This will minimize the possibility of dispersing the virus through the air.
    • Launder items as appropriate in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry items completely. Dirty laundry from an ill person can be washed with other people’s items.
    • Clean and disinfect clothes hampers according to the guidance above for surfaces. If possible, consider placing a bag liner that is either disposable (can be thrown away) or can be laundered.
by Olga Loreto Olga Loreto No Comments

What are the Methods of Decontamination?

Decontamination is a term used to describe a process or treatment that renders a medical device, instrument, or environmental surface safe to handle. Sterilization, disinfection, and antisepsis are all forms of decontamination.
All infectious materials and all contaminated equipment or apparatus should be decontaminated before being washed, stored, or discarded. Autoclaving is the preferred method. Each individual working with biohazardous material should be responsible for its proper handling.

Levels of decontamination

The effectiveness of decontamination ranges from high-level sterilization to simple cleaning with soap and water. Levels of decontamination include:
Sterilization uses a physical or chemical procedure to destroy all microbial life, including highly resistant bacterial endospores.
Disinfection uses a liquid chemical to eliminate virtually all pathogenic microorganisms, with the exception of bacterial spores, on work surfaces and equipment. Effectiveness is influenced by the kinds and numbers of organisms, the amount of organic matter, the object to be disinfected, and chemical exposure time, temperature, and concentration.

Antisepsis is the application of a liquid antimicrobial chemical to the skin or living tissue to inhibit or destroy microorganisms. It includes swabbing an injection site on a person or animal and handwashing with germicidal solutions. Manufacturer recommendations for appropriate use of germicides should always be followed.

Cleaning uses water, detergent, and some mechanical action such as scrubbing with a gloved hand or brush. Cleaning is often a required step before sterilization or disinfection of inanimate objects because it removes all material such as soil or organic material and reduces the number of microorganisms on an object.

There are 4 main categories of physical and chemical means of decontamination: (1) heat; (2) liquid disinfection; (3) vapors and gases; and (4) radiation. Each category is discussed below.

1. Heat sterilization (wet or dry)

Wet heat
Wet heat is the most dependable method of sterilization.
Autoclaving, sometimes called steam sterilization, is the most convenient method of rapidly achieving the destruction of all forms of microbial life. Autoclaves use saturated steam under pressure of approximately 15 pounds per square inch to achieve a chamber temperature of at least 250°F (121°C) for a prescribed time—usually 30–60 minutes. Typical uses: Autoclaving is a dependable method of sterilizing laboratory equipment and decontaminating biohazard wastes.

Dry heat

Dry heat is less efficient than wet heat and requires longer times and/or higher temperatures to achieve sterilization. It is suitable for the destruction of viable organisms on impermeable non-organic surfaces such as glass, but it is not reliable in the presence of shallow layers of organic or inorganic materials which may act as insulation.

Typical uses: Sterilization of glassware by dry heat can usually be accomplished at 160°–170°C for periods of 2 to 4 hours.

2. Liquid disinfection

Liquid disinfectants can be generally classified as halogens, acids, alkalis, heavy metal salts, quaternary ammonium compounds, phenolic compounds, aldehydes, ketones, alcohols, and amines.

Liquid disinfectant effectiveness varies with the organism, concentration, contact time, and other conditions of use. Select only liquid disinfectants that are confirmed to be effective against the organism(s) present. No liquid disinfectant is equally useful or effective under all conditions and for all viable agents.
Typical uses: Liquid disinfectants are used for surface decontamination and, when used in sufficient concentration, as a decontaminate for liquid wastes prior to final disposal in the sanitary sewer.

Consult Summary of Disinfectants for recommended disinfectants, their uses, and requirements. NOTE: The chart below provides guidelines for surface decontamination For chemical disinfection of liquid biohazardous waste, the only university-wide approved disinfectant for UCSD is bleach (1 part bleach to 9 parts liquid waste, 30 min. contact time, followed by sewering).

If your laboratory wishes to inquire about the use of alternative disinfectants to inactivate liquid biohazardous waste, please send an email with the following information. You will receive a response within five (5) working days regarding approval.

3. Vapors and gases

Vapors and gases, when used in closed systems and under controlled conditions of temperature and humidity, provide excellent disinfection. Agents in this category include the aerosol, vapor, or gas phase of chlorine dioxide, glutaraldehyde, paraformaldehyde, ethylene oxide, peracetic acid, and hydrogen peroxide.
Typical uses: Vapors and gases are primarily used to decontaminate biosafety cabinets, animal rooms, and their associated systems, bulky or stationary equipment not suited to liquid disinfectants, instruments or optics that might be damaged by other decontamination methods, and rooms, buildings, and associated air-handling systems.

4. Radiation (ionizing or non-ionizing)

Ionizing radiation will destroy microorganisms but is not a practical tool for laboratory use.

The UV-C band of ultraviolet (UV) radiation contains wavelengths (250-270 nm, 265 is optimum) that effectively destroy most microorganisms in air and water and on surfaces. Organisms must be directly exposed to the UV light; dirt, dust, and shadows can shield organisms, limiting UV lamp effectiveness.
Typical uses: Ultraviolet radiation is typically used to reduce levels of airborne microorganisms and maintain good air hygiene in airlocks, animal holding areas, ventilated cabinets, and laboratory rooms. UV is also used in biological safety cabinets (BSC) and in some laboratory rooms to reduce surface contamination.
EH&S Biosafety strongly discourages UV lamps in BSCs. See Biosafety Cabinets: Usage Guidelines.

Precautions: UV can cause burns to the eyes (photokeratitis) and skin of people exposed for even a short period of time.

Use these precautions:
Activate UV lights only when the area is unoccupied.
Use proper shielding when UV lamps are in use.
Interlock UV lamps used for space decontamination with the general room or cabinet illumination, so turning on the lights turns off the UV.
Warn new and visiting personnel about the hazardous effects of UV radiation and the appropriate precautions to take.


Because UV lamp intensity (its destructive power) decreases with time, proper maintenance is critical for decontamination purposes. Perform this regular maintenance:
Check lamp efficiency monthly with a UV meter or monitoring strip.
Clean UV lamps every few weeks to prevent dust and dirt from accumulating that drastically reduces UV lamp effectiveness.