BG-Bldg-Masthead_1920x440_template
Blog

Home > Resources > Blog

PART 2: SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19 FAQ

May 22, 2020

To view questions 1–13 in Part 1 of the SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19 FAQ Series, please click here.

14. What is the difference between masks and respirators?

Respirators have filters to remove specific contaminants. Face masks simply create a barrier, preventing materials from getting into or excretions from getting out of the wearer’s mouth.

15. What is the recommended PPE when performing corrective disinfection?

16. Are all sprayers in the Application Method Guide available at Betco?

No, Betco only makes the disinfectants that can be used in these sprayers. Please consult the applicator companies directly for purchase.

17. Can I use microfiber wipes to apply the disinfectant?

Yes, microfiber wipes are an excellent way to apply disinfectants. These wipes must be changed when visibly dirty and should be laundered on a frequent basis.

18. Which products are safe to use when disinfecting food-contact surfaces?  

All Betco disinfectants can be used on food-contact surfaces (areas where food may be prepared, served, or stored). You simply need to rinse with potable water after the required dwell time.

Betco’s Symplicity™ Sanibet™ Multi-Range Sanitizer may be used to sanitize food contact surfaces and does not require a rinse with potable water. Please consult the product label for more specific instruction.

19. How long do you have to wait after disinfection before allowing people to enter the room?

This answer depends greatly on several conditions, such as the size of the room, the amount of ventilation and air flow in the room, and how the disinfectant is applied. In general, if spraying a coarse spray directly on the surface, people should be able to enter the room shortly after the necessary dwell time (5–10 minutes).

20. How effective are alternative disinfection methods, such as ultrasonic waves, high-intensity UV radiation, and LED blue lights?

From the CDC, “The efficacy of these disinfection methods against the virus that causes COVID-19 is not known. EPA only recommends use of the surface disinfectants identified on List N against the virus that causes COVID-19. EPA does not routinely review the safety or efficacy of pesticidal devices, such as UV lights, LED lights, or ultrasonic devices. Therefore, EPA cannot confirm whether, or under what circumstances, such products might be effective against the spread of COVID-19.”

21. Can sanitizing tunnels at a building's exit or entrance prevent the spread of COVID-19?

CDC does not recommend the use of sanitizing tunnels. There is no evidence that they are effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19. Chemicals used in sanitizing tunnels could cause skin, eye, or respiratory irritation or damage.

22. How do I disinfect children's toys?

Be careful when disinfecting any item that could enter children’s mouths. The best recommendation is to wash the toys in soap and water, rinse, and allow to air dry. If this is not feasible, use either Betco’s Symplicity™ Sanibet™ Multi-Range Sanitizer or Sanibet RTU according to label directions, making sure the toys are completely dry before allowing children to use them.

23. How long are dilutable disinfectants effective for after dilution? 

Check the specific label. In general, if a disinfectant solution becomes visible dirty, it must be discarded. A few products at use-dilution have bactericidal stability for extended periods, like Symplicity Sanibet (up to 5 months) or Triforce (up to 1 year). Other diluted products on List N must be made fresh daily according to the EPA label.

24. How often should cleaning and disinfecting be done?

The CDC states, “Surfaces frequently touched by multiple people, such as door handles, bathroom surfaces, and handrails, should be cleaned with soap and water or another detergent at least daily when facilities are in use. More frequent cleaning and disinfection may be required based on level of use. For example, certain surfaces and objects in public spaces, such as shopping carts and point of sale keypads, should be cleaned and disinfected before each use. Cleaning removes dirt and impurities, including germs, from surfaces. Cleaning alone does not kill germs, but it reduces the number of germs on a surface.”

25. Is there any residual efficacy after the disinfectant dries?

No, that is why it is important to disinfect high-touch surfaces and areas. Be wary of products that claim residual efficacy. These claims are only relevant to preserving the surface where they are applied (prevent odors or staining). They do not have residual viral efficacy and none of these products are recommended on List N.

26. How long do I leave the disinfectant on the surface?

All disinfectants have different and specific dwell times depending on the organism you are trying to kill. Refer to the EPA List N for the recommended dwell time for use against SARS-CoV-2.

27. I have heard the virus can spread on shoes, is this true?

A recent study published in Emerging Infectious Diseases suggests that SARS-CoV-2 can potentially be spread by shoes. In the study, researchers took samples from various surfaces at Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan, China, the early epicenter of the outbreak—including samples from the soles of ICU staff members' shoes. Half of the samples taken from the shoes tested positive for the virus.

This demonstrates the importance of disinfecting floors during corrective disinfection.

28. Do you need to wipe down surfaces after disinfecting? 

This depends on the disinfectant and the surface. Most surfaces can be allowed to air dry. For sensitive surfaces like electronic equipment, after the required dwell time, it is advised to wipe any residue from the surface. Food-contact surfaces should be rinsed with potable water after disinfecting.

29. Is it safe to vacuum a facility after a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case has been present?

According to the CDC, “The risk of transmitting or spreading SARS-CoV-2 during vacuuming is unknown. At this time, there are no reported cases of COVID-19 associated with vacuuming. If vacuuming is necessary, first follow the CDC recommendations for Cleaning and Disinfection for Community Facilities that apply, which includes a wait time of 24 hours, or as long as practical.

“After cleaning and disinfection, the following recommendations may help reduce the risk to workers and other individuals when vacuuming:

  • Consider removing smaller rugs or carpets from the area completely, so there is less that needs to be vacuumed. 
  • Use a vacuum equipped with a high-efficiency particular air (HEPA) filter, if available.
  • Do not vacuum a room or space that has people in it. Wait until the room or space is empty to vacuum, such as at night, for common spaces, or during the day for private rooms.
  • Consider temporarily turning off room fans and the central HVAC system that services the room or space, so that particles that escape from vacuuming will not circulate throughout the facility. 

30. Do I need to disinfect the tools and equipment used after performing corrective disinfection? 

Yes, it is advisable to disinfect all materials. Betco has a guide to proper equipment disinfection.

31. How does the EPA regulate companies with cleaning services claiming to disinfect for COVID-19?

The EPA does not specifically regulate cleaning companies. However, if the company uses a product or makes an efficacy claim that cannot be backed up by an EPA registration, then that is a violation, and the company can be subject to substantial fines and penalties.

32. Are non-alcohol hand sanitizers effective?

The CDC recommends using a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol and has stated, “Hand sanitizers without 60-95% alcohol 1) may not work equally well for many types of germs; and 2) merely reduce the growth of germs rather than kill them outright.”

33. How long can SARS-CoV-2 survive on various surfaces? 

According to an NIH (National Institute of Health) study, SARS-CoV-2 remained active on plastic and stainless-steel surfaces for 2–3 days under the conditions in this experiment. It remained infectious for up to 24 hours on cardboard and 4 hours on copper. The virus was detectable in aerosols (in the air) for up to 3 hours. These times will vary under real-world conditions, depending on factors including temperature, humidity, ventilation, and the amount of virus deposited.

34. What is the recommendation for areas that cannot be disinfected, like paper or cardboard (that break down when wet)?

Since the virus has only been shown to survive for 24 hours on these surfaces, it is best to remove these items to a secure spot and not handle them for a few days.

35. Should outdoor playgrounds in schools and parks be disinfected?

From the CDC, “Outdoor areas generally require normal routine cleaning and do not require disinfection. Spraying disinfectant on outdoor playgrounds is not an efficient use of disinfectant supplies and has not been proven to reduce the risk of COVID-19 to the public.”

36. Is it recommended to disinfect roads or sidewalks to prevent the spread of COVID-19?

CDC does not recommend disinfection of sidewalks or roads. Spraying disinfectant on sidewalks and roads is not an efficient use of disinfectant supplies and has not been proven to reduce the risk of COVID-19 to the public. The risk of spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 from these surfaces is very low and disinfection is not effective on these surfaces.

37. Is it necessary to disinfect the duct work in the ventilation system?

It is not necessary to disinfect the HVAC system, including ductwork. We are focusing on the high-touch points.

38. Does an ATP meter show the virus is killed?

An ATP meter shows how much organic material has been removed from a surface and is a good measure of cleaning performance. It cannot show if there are any microorganisms present or what those specific organisms are. The only way to do this is to swab the surface, transfer to a growth plate, and check for growth over 24–48 hours. This is normally done in a microbiology laboratory.

Our new Smart Tools™ Enhanced Facility Disinfection Program provides the framework, tools, techniques, procedures, safety guidelines, and support materials for facilities of all types to develop and execute a comprehensive cleaning and disinfection work plan, allowing them to confidently reopen while keeping all who enter safe.  It combines evidence-based infection control strategies supported by agencies such as the CDC, EPA, and FDA with tactics to put the minds of facility occupants at ease in just 5 steps. Click here to learn more. 

Click here to visit our dedicated SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19 web page, which also has crucial information and resources.

Recent Posts