As we navigate the current COVID-19 landscape, we want to take the opportunity to to provide video links, to properly handle the cleaning procedures and safety devices we have deployed.
According to the CDC recommendations, the following information is available:
How to Wear a Cloth Face Covering
Cloth face coverings should—
- fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
- be secured with ties or ear loops
- include multiple layers of fabric
- allow for breathing without restriction
- be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape
CDC on Homemade Cloth Face Coverings
CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.
Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.
Should cloth face coverings be washed or otherwise cleaned regularly? How regularly?
Yes. They should be routinely washed depending on the frequency of use.
How does one safely sterilize/clean a cloth face covering?
A washing machine should suffice in properly washing a face covering.
How does one safely remove a used cloth face covering?
Individuals should be careful not to touch their eyes, nose, and mouth when removing their face covering and wash hands immediately after removing.
How to Remove Gloves to Protect yourself
This pdf on the CDC website is the step by step below. There is also a video as well.
- Grasp the outside of one glove at the wrist. Do not touch your bare skin.
- Peel the glove away from your body, pulling it inside out.
- Hold the glove you just removed in your gloved hand.
- Peel off the second glove by putting your fingers inside the glove at the top of your wrist.
- Turn the second glove inside out while pulling it away from your body, leaving the first glove inside the second.
- Dispose of the gloves safely. Do not reuse the gloves.
- Clean your hands immediately after removing gloves.
The below video, is directly from the CDC website, on properly washing your hands:
How to clean and disinfect
The following excerpt is directly from the CDC website
Wear disposable gloves to clean and disinfect.
- Clean surfaces using soap and water. Practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces.
High touch surfaces include:
Tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, etc.
- Clean the area or item with soap and water or another detergent if it is dirty. Then, use a household disinfectant.
- Recommend use of EPA-registered household disinfectant
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Follow the instructions on the label to ensure safe and effective use of the product.
Many products recommend:
- Keeping surface wet for a period of time (see product label)
- Precautions such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.
- Diluted household bleach solutions may also be used if appropriate for the surface. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.
Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser.
Leave solution on the surface for at least 1 minute
To make a bleach solution, mix:
- 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water
- 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water
- 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water
- Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol.
For soft surfaces such as carpeted floor, rugs, and drapes
- Clean the surface using soap and water or with cleaners appropriate for use on these surfaces.
- Launder items (if possible) according to the manufacturer’s instructions.Use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely.
- Disinfect with an EPA-registered household disinfectant. These disinfectants
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- meet EPA’s criteria for use against COVID-19.
For electronics, such as tablets, touch screens, keyboards, and remote controls.
- Consider putting a wipeable cover on electronics
- Follow manufacturer’s instruction for cleaning and disinfecting
- If no guidance, use alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol. Dry surface thoroughly.
For clothing, towels, linens and other items
- Launder items according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely.
- Wear disposable gloves when handling dirty laundry from a person who is sick.
- Dirty laundry from a person who is sick can be washed with other people’s items.
- Do not shake dirty laundry.
- Clean and disinfect clothes hampers according to guidance above for surfaces.
- Remove gloves, and wash hands right away.
When Someone is Sick
Bedroom and Bathroom
Keep separate bedroom and bathroom for a person who is sick (if possible)
- The person who is sick should stay separated from other people in the home (as much as possible).
- If you have a separate bedroom and bathroom: Only clean the area around the person who is sick when needed, such as when the area is soiled. This will help limit your contact with the person who is sick.
- If shared bathroom: The person who is sick should clean and disinfect after each use. If this is not possible, the caregiver should wait as long as possible before cleaning and disinfecting.
- See precautions for household members and caregivers for more information.
- Stay separated: The person who is sick should eat (or be fed) in their room if possible.
- Wash dishes and utensils using gloves and hot water: Handle any used dishes, cups/glasses, or silverware with gloves. Wash them with soap and hot water or in a dishwasher.
- Clean hands after taking off gloves or handling used items.
- Dedicated, lined trash can: If possible, dedicate a lined trash can for the person who is sick. Use gloves when removing garbage bags, and handling and disposing of trash. Wash hands afterwards.
Screening Clients at Entry
The following is a simple screening tool that can be used to identify people with symptoms that indicate they might have a respiratory infection. Although not every person who has respiratory infection symptoms will have coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), using this tool during community spread of COVID-19 may help separate those who are more likely to have COVID-19 from the general population at entry to a homeless shelter or other homeless service program.
If someone screens positive for symptoms, they should be directed to where they can stay, either within the shelter or at another location, according to a predesignated plan developed with the local Continuum of Care (CoC), public health department, and community leadership.
- Determine if the client has a fever, by:
- Taking their temperature using a temporal thermometer (see box), or
- Asking “Have you felt like you had a fever in the past day?”
- Ask the client “Do you have a new or worsening cough today?”
If the client has a fever OR a new/worsening cough:
- Provide a facemask for the client to wear over their nose and mouth, if facemasks are available and if the client can tolerate it.
If facemasks are not available, advise the client on cough etiquette and provide tissues.
- Notify management and appropriate healthcare providers, as available
- Direct them to an isolation room if available, or an available space in the area designated for symptomatic persons
If your shelter does not have an area for symptomatic people, redirect the person to the location prespecified by your CoC, public health department, and community leadership
- Let the client know:
If their symptoms worsen, they should notify someone immediately
b. Not to leave their room/the symptomatic area except to use the restroom
c. If they leave their room/the symptomatic area, they must wear a mask
Use standard shelter protocols for medical emergencies.
Taking a client’s temperature using a temporal thermometer.
Temporal thermometers use an infrared scanner to measure the temperature of the temporal artery in the forehead. Temperature takers should keep as much distance from clients as they can, wash their hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol) regularly, and use gloves if available.
To use thermometer:
- Turn on the thermometer.
- Gently sweep the thermometer across the client’s forehead.
- Remove the thermometer and read the number:
- Fever: Any temperature 100.4 F or greater is considered a fever.
- No fever: People with temperatures at or below 100.3 F may continue into the shelter using normal procedures.
- Clean the thermometer with an alcohol wipe (or isopropyl alcohol on a cotton swab) between each client. You can reuse the same wipe as long as it remains wet.
For workplaces, the CDC suggested regular health checks for anyone arriving at work daily, such as checks of temperature and whether someone has a cough. They also suggested distancing workers away from each other, staggering work schedules, encouraging staff to telecommute, limiting in-person meetings and regularly disinfecting all eating areas in break rooms.
Healthcare facilities should restrict all visitors to reduce transmission of the virus within the facility, while allowing exceptions for those visiting people at the end of their life. Facilities may need to triage patients before they enter facilities, such as in the parking lot or by phone, to limit unnecessary healthcare visits, the agency said.