According to the CDC, the risk of exposure to cleaning staff is inherently low. In consultation with the CDC and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), when a COVID-19 case has been confirmed within a facility, the following is now recommended to aid in reducing secondary transmission from work clothes (reminder to always avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands):
- Gloves and an additional disposable or washable outer layer (to cover torso) are now recommended.
- The outer layer recommendation is to add an additional layer of protection to normal work clothes when bending over surfaces while cleaning.
The CDC states coveralls, aprons, work uniforms, or an extra shirt can all be worn as an outer layer during cleaning and disinfecting. Reusable (washable) clothing should be laundered afterwards using CDC guidance on laundry (warmest temperature setting and fully dry the clothing piece). Disposable clothing must be discarded after completing tasks. Clean hands after handling dirty laundry.
Again, the additional layer is a new recommendation from the CDC in an effort to reduce the possibility of secondary transmission from touching one’s clothes after cleaning an area occupied by a confirmed COVID-19 case and then touching one’s face. By removing that secondary coverage layer for a) disposal or b) laundering, it is believed the secondary transmission is reduced.