CDC Revises Cleaning Guidelines

For hard surfaces, “cleaning once a day” is now OK as long as there are no known COVID-19 infections.

April 09, 2021

Cleaning Supplies

ATLANTA—This week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued updated guidelines on cleaning and disinfecting facilities, relaxing recommendations for some types of cleaning when COVID-19 risks aren’t elevated.

Because the virus that causes COVID-19 can land on surfaces, it’s possible for people to become infected if they touch those surfaces and then touch their nose, mouth or eyes, the CDC said. In most situations, however, the risk of infection from touching a surface is low, and when no people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infections are known to be in a particular space, “cleaning once a day is usually enough to sufficiently remove virus that may be on surfaces and help maintain a healthy facility,” the CDC said.

The agency recommends regular hand washing or use of hand sanitizer, along with regular cleaning and disinfecting surfaces to reduce the risk of infection. The CDC recommends cleaning with products containing soap or detergent to reduce germs on surfaces by removing contaminants and potentially weakening or damaging some of the virus particles, which decreases risk of infection from surfaces.

Disinfecting kills any remaining germs on surfaces, which further reduces any risk of spreading infection. Retailers should either clean more frequently or choose to disinfect (in addition to cleaning) in shared spaces if certain conditions apply that can increase the risk of infection from touching surfaces, such as high transmission of COVID-19 in the community, a low number of people wearing masks, infrequent hand hygiene, or the space is occupied by people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

In the event a sick person or someone who tested positive for COVID-19 was in a facility within the past 24 hours, retailers should clean and disinfect the space. Click here for further details on the new guidelines related to cleaning and disinfecting facilities.

To learn more about ways c-stores achieve clean, read “Cleaning Solutions” in NACS Magazine.

NACS e-learning partner Ready Training Online (RTO) has created a free seven-minute training module on how to help prevent the spread of illness and disease at businesses. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has listed EPA-registered surface disinfectant products in its Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 list. The EPA notes that coronaviruses are enveloped viruses, meaning they are one of the easiest types of viruses to kill with the appropriate disinfectant product. 

Coronavirus Resources

NACS has compiled resources to help the convenience retail community navigate the COVID-19 crisis, including information about how to educate employees about the vaccines and other vaccine-related human resources advice. For news updates and guidance, visit our coronavirus resources page.