Environmental Considerations

Routine Practices for environmental infection control, including PHC/VCH-approved products for cleaning and disinfection, are effective and recommended for enveloped viruses such as COVID-19. 

In addition to infection control strategies that include early identification and source control with Droplet & Contact Precautions, Routine Practices that support using appropriate hand hygiene and personal protective equipment following a point of care risk assessment, respiratory etiquette, patient placement, waste management and cleaning and disinfection further prevent transmission of COVID-19. 

Patient Care Equipment

  • Dedicate all reusable equipment to patients on Droplet and Contact precautions for suspected or confirmed COVID-19 whenever possible. Items that cannot be dedicated must be discarded/sent home with the patient or cleaned and disinfected with a PHC-approved product prior to use with another patient.  
  • Patient care equipment includes any item that will come into direct contact with the patient or their immediate environment, e.g., equipment and supplies, toys, books/magazines, electronic devices (tablets), and personal belongings. Refer to the PHC Master Equipment Cleaning Manual for specific direction.   
  • Single-use disposable equipment & supplies should be discarded after use. 

Environmental Cleaning

  • PHC/VCH routine cleaning procedures for Droplet & Contact Precautions are recommended for daily and terminal cleaning of patient care areas with confirmed or suspected COVID-19.
  • PHC/VCH routine environmental cleaning procedures include twice daily cleaning and disinfection of high touch surfaces in emergency departments for the duration of influenza season.

Handling Linen, Dishes and Cutlery

  • Regular meal service delivery will continue unless otherwise directed by the Medical Health Officer.
  • For COVID-19 confirmed cases, meal service will be on disposable ware. This will reduce the need for care staff to use additional PPEs to retrieve meal trays.
  • All meal carts will be cleaned when leaving COVID-19 cohort units.
  • Handle soiled linen with minimal agitation and place directly in linen bag without sorting.  Do not overfill bags. 

Waste Management

  • No special precautions are recommended; routine practices are sufficient.
  • Wear gloves to remove waste from patient/treatment rooms.   Remove gloves and perform hand hygiene.
  • Dispose of sharps immediately after use in a puncture-proof, biohazard container.
  • Segregate biomedical waste per PHC/VCH policy
This page last updated May 21, 2021 5:20pm PDT