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.
- 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.
- 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.