This Version Posted: February 11, 2021
Cleaning and disinfecting public spaces is essential to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect people in the community.
The following information provides guidance on cleaning and disinfection of public spaces and workplaces in Ontario.
On This Page:
- What You Should Know
- Cleaning and Disinfect Frequently Touched Surfaces
- Selecting Products: Cleaners, Disinfectants, Disinfectant Wipes
- Prepare Products for Use
- How to Clean/Disinfect a Carpet to Eliminate COVID-19
- Additional Resources
What you should know
- Commonly used cleaners and disinfectants (with viricidal claim) are effective against COVID-19. Click here for a specific list of hard-surface disinfectants that are known to be effective against COVID-19. You can also click here for a list of hard-surface disinfectants and hand sanitizers accepted under COVID-19 Interim Measure.
- Frequently or high-touch surfaces are most likely to be contaminated.
- Use only disinfectants that have a Drug Identification Number (DIN). A DIN is an 8-digit number given by Health Canada that confirms it is approved for use in Canada. The DIN can be found on the disinfectant container label, usually in very fine print.
- Check the expiry date of products you use and always follow manufacturer’s instructions.
- Follow these public health guidelines for cleaning/disinfecting public washrooms
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces twice per day
- In addition to routine cleaning and disinfecting, high-touch surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected twice per day and when visibly dirty.
- High-touch surfaces include, but are not limited to: doorknobs, elevator buttons, light switches, toilet handles, counters, hand rails, touch screen surfaces and keypads.
- In addition to routine cleaning and disinfecting, check with your organization for any specific protocols for cleaning and disinfecting for COVID-19.
- Break down grease and remove organic material from the surface.
- If used separately, always use cleaner to clean the surface area before applying disinfectants.
- Can be purchased with cleaner and disinfectant combined in a single product. These products are called ‘cleaner disinfectants.’
- Have chemicals that kill most germs.
- Applied after the surfaces have been cleaned.
- Have a drug identification number (DIN). Click here for a specific list of hard-surface disinfectants that are known to be effective against COVID-19. You can also click here for a list of hard-surface disinfectants and hand sanitizers accepted under COVID-19 Interim Measure.
- Have combined cleaners and disinfectants in the same wipe.
- May become dry due to fast drying properties. They should not be used if they become dry.
- Ensure surfaces are saturated with cleaner disinfectant while using wipes.
- Not recommended for heavily soiled surfaces.
Prepare products for use
- Where possible, use pre-mixed solution.
- Read and follow manufacturer’s instructions to:
- properly prepare solution
- allow adequate contact time for disinfectant to kill germs (see product label for specific contact time)
- wear gloves when handling cleaning or disinfecting products (including wipes)
- wear any other personal protective equipment recommended by the manufacturer.
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This information is based on the Public Health Ontario fact sheet: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Cleaning and Disinfection for Public Settings
How to Clean/Disinfect a Carpet to Eliminate COVID-19
The best option is to cover the carpet with vinyl or other material that can be easily cleaned and disinfected. If that’s not possible, do the following:
- For regular cleaning and disinfecting, use a steam cleaner (the temperature is high enough to eliminate COVID)
- For situations involving a biological spill, follow these steps:
- Gather disposable towels, cleaners, disinfectants and other supplies you need to deal with the spill.
- Don’t allow access to area until the spill is cleaned, disinfected and completely dry.
- Put on gloves and facial protection (such as mask and eye protection, or face shield). If there is a possibility of splashing, wear a gown too.
- Mop up as much of the spill as possible with disposable towels
- Disinfect the entire spill area with a Health Canada approved disinfectant, allowing it to stand for the length of time of time recommended by the manufacturer. Do not use spray for this step.
- In a waste receptacle, safely dispose of the gloves, disposable towels, and other materials used to wipe up the spill.
- Remove gloves and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water.
- Steam clean the carpet.
- Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Places During COVID-19 – Public Health Agency of Canada
- Guidance For Hotel Reception, Room Service and Frontline Staff During COVID-19 – Workplace Safety and Prevention Services
- Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility – U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Download and print resources below: