Below are key training items from the COVID-19 Prevention Checklist for Maine Employees
Hand hygiene is an important part of the U.S. response to the international emergence of COVID-19. Practicing hand hygiene, which includes the use of alcohol-based hand rub (ABHR) or handwashing, is a simple yet effective way to prevent the spread of pathogens and infections in healthcare settings. CDC recommendations reflect this important role.
The exact contribution of hand hygiene to the reduction of direct and indirect spread of coronaviruses between people is currently unknown. However, hand washing mechanically removes pathogens, and laboratory data demonstrate that ABHR formulations in the range of alcohol concentrations recommended by CDC, inactivate SARS-CoV-2. [1,2]
ABHR effectively reduces the number of pathogens that may be present on the hands of healthcare providers after brief interactions with patients or the care environment.
Social Distancing Guidelines
Social distancing means that a distance of at least 6 feet (2 meters) is maintained between people whenever possible.
Remember, people may be able to spread COVID-19 even if they do not show symptoms. Consider all close interactions (within 6 feet) with employees, clients, and others as a potential source of exposure.
Handshaking, hugs, fist bumps and similar type of contact are discouraged.
If there is outdoor seating areas available, please take advantage of these areas.
Keep in mind you should also practice social distancing for all small-group activities such as lunches, breaks, and meetings.
Monitor Your Health Daily
Be alert for symptoms.
People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:
Fever or chills
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Muscle or body aches
New loss of taste or smell
Congestion or runny nose
Nausea or vomiting
*This list does not include all possible symptoms. CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19.
Take your temperature if symptoms develop.
Don’t take your temperature within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications that could lower your temperature, like acetaminophen.
If you are sick with COVID-19 or think you might have COVID-19, follow the steps below to care for yourself and to help protect other people in your home and community.
Stay home except to get medical care
Stay home. Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and can recover at home without medical care. Do not leave your home, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas.
Take care of yourself. Get rest and stay hydrated. Take over-the-counter medicines, such as acetaminophen, to help you feel better.
Stay in touch with your doctor. Call before you get medical care. Be sure to get care if you have trouble breathing, or have any other emergency warning signs, or if you think it is an emergency.
Avoid public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
When to seek emergency medical attention:
Look for emergency warning signs* for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately:
Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
Inability to wake or stay awake
Bluish lips or face
*This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.
Call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility: Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Things that are PPE;
Gloves: various gloves protect against varying hazards, most commonly, medical grade Nitryl or latex gloves are used to protect against pathogenic hazards
Body Protection; Most often varying forms of protective suits are worn to protect from pathogenic hazards. In the case of facilities with direct contact of known or suspected COVID-19 infectious subjects, Tyvek, full body suits can be worn. However! To be impervious to the maximum of the design, all seems should be sealed
Eye/face protection; Eye protection should also be worn for those involved in the direct contact of known or suspected COVID-19 infectious subjects. Eye protection should provide side protection at the least. Face shield make excellent protection, especially when used in conjunction with eye protection.
Washing/Drying instructions for Masks
Masks are an additional step to help slow the spread of COVID-19 when combined with every day preventive actions and social distancing in public settings.
Masks should be washed after each use. It is important to always remove masks correctly and wash your hands after handling or touching a used mask.
How to clean
You can include your mask with your regular laundry.
Use regular laundry detergent and the warmest appropriate water setting for the cloth used to make the mask.
Washing by hand
Prepare a bleach solution by mixing:
5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) household bleach per gallon of room temperature water or
4 teaspoons household bleach per quart of room temperature water
Check the label to see if your bleach is intended for disinfection. Some bleach products, such as those designed for safe use on colored clothing, may not be suitable for disinfection. Ensure the bleach product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser.
Soak the mask in the bleach solution for 5 minutes.
Rinse thoroughly with cool or room temperature water.
Make sure to completely dry mask after washing.
How to dry
Use the highest heat setting and leave in the dryer until completely dry.
Lay flat and allow to completely dry. If possible, place the mask in direct sunlight.
Washing/Drying instructions for a uniform
Wash the uniform/scrub apparel separately from any family textile products.
Use appropriate detergents and bleach based on the apparel manufacturer’s label instructions. Both chlorine-based bleach and oxygen-based bleach products can be effective in the wash process for inactivating viruses.
Wash on the hottest water temperature setting recommended by the garment manufacturer and avoid short/rapid cycles.
After closing the washer, clean and disinfect according to directions of your chosen EPA-certified disinfectant product. Wipe down the machine door, handles, and buttons, as well as doorknobs and other surface areas you may have touched in the laundry room during the process. If the bag used to bring the apparel items home is disposable, discard the bag. If the bag is not disposable, wipe the bag handle/straps and interior with an appropriate detergent-disinfectant.
Immediately wash your hands or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
After the wash cycle is completed, remove the garments from the washer and place immediately into the dryer. Dry the load completely on the warmest cycle recommended by the garment manufacturer.
Cleaning, Disinfecting, and Sanitizing
Wear disposable gloves to clean and disinfect.
Clean surfaces using soap and water, then use disinfectant.
Cleaning with soap and water reduces number of germs, dirt and impurities on the surface. Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces.
Practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces.
More frequent cleaning and disinfection may be required based on level of use.
Surfaces and objects in public places, such as shopping carts and point of sale keypads should be cleaned and disinfected before each use.
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.
Always read and follow the directions on the label to ensure safe and effective use.
Wear skin protection and consider eye protection for potential splash hazards
Ensure adequate ventilation
Use no more than the amount recommended on the label
Use water at room temperature for dilution (unless stated otherwise on the label)
Avoid mixing chemical products
Label diluted cleaning solutions
Store and use chemicals out of the reach of children and pets
You should never eat, drink, breathe or inject these products into your body or apply directly to your skin as they can cause serious harm. Do not wipe or bathe pets with these products or any other products that are not approved for animal use.
Special considerations should be made for people with asthma and they should not be present when cleaning and disinfecting is happening as this can trigger asthma exacerbations. Learn more about reducing asthma triggers.
If products on List N are not available, diluted household bleach solutions can be used if appropriate for the surface. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.
Use bleach containing 5.25%–8.25% sodium hypochlorite. Do not use a bleach product if the percentage is not in this range or is not specified.
Follow the manufacturer’s application instructions for the surface, ensuring a contact time of at least 1 minute.
Ensure proper ventilation during and after application.
Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date.
Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. This can cause fumes that may be very dangerous to breathe in.
Prepare a bleach solution by mixing:
5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) of 5.25%–8.25% bleach per gallon of room temperature water OR
4 teaspoons of 5.25%–8.25% bleach per quart of room temperature water
Bleach solutions will be effective for disinfection up to 24 hours.
Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol may also be used.
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.
Electronics: For electronics, such as tablets, touch screens, keyboards, remote controls, and ATM machines
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 gloveswhen 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 shakedirty laundry.
Clean and disinfect clothes hampersaccording to guidance above for surfaces.
Remove gloves, and wash hands right away.
Cleaning and disinfecting your building or facility if someone is sick
Close off areas used by the person who is sick.
Companies do not necessarily need to close operations, if they can close off affected areas.
Open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area.
Wait 24 hours before you clean or disinfect. If 24 hours is not feasible, wait as long as possible.
Clean and disinfect all areas used by the person who is sick, such as offices, bathrooms, common areas, shared electronic equipment like tablets, touch screens, keyboards, remote controls, and ATM machines.
Vacuum the space if needed. Use a vacuum equipped with high-efficiency particulate 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.
Wear disposable gloves to clean and disinfect. For soft (porous) surfaces such as carpeted floors or rugs, clean the surface with detergents or cleaners appropriate for use on these surfaces, according to the textile’s label. After cleaning, disinfect with an appropriate EPA-registered disinfectant on List N: Disinfectants for use against SARS-CoV-2external icon. Soft and porous materials, like carpet, are generally not as easy to disinfect as hard and non-porous surfaces. EPA has listed a limited number of products approved for disinfection for use on soft and porous materials on List N. Follow the disinfectant manufacturer’s safety instructions (such as wearing gloves and ensuring adequate ventilation), concentration level, application method and contact time. Allow sufficient drying time if vacuum is not intended for wet surfaces.
Temporarily turn off in-room, window-mounted, or on-wall recirculation HVAC to avoid contamination of the HVAC units.
Do NOT deactivate central HVAC systems. These systems tend to provide better filtration capabilities and introduce outdoor air into the areas that they serve.
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.
Once area has been appropriately disinfected, it can be opened for use.
Workers without close contact with the person who is sick can return to work immediately after disinfection.
If more than 7 days since the person who is sick visited or used the facility, additional cleaning and disinfection is not necessary.
Continue routing cleaning and disinfection. This includes everyday practices that businesses and communities normally use to maintain a healthy environment.
Cleaning and disinfecting outdoor areas
Outdoor areas, like playgrounds in schools and parksgenerally require normal routine cleaning, but do not require disinfection.
Do not spray disinfectant on outdoor playgrounds- it is not an efficient use of supplies and is not proven to reduce risk of COVID-19 to the public.
High touch surfaces made of plastic or metal, such as grab bars and railings should be cleaned routinely.
Cleaning and disinfection of wooden surfaces (play structures, benches, tables) or groundcovers (mulch, sand) is not recommended.
Sidewalks and roads should not be disinfected.
Spread of COVID-19 from these surfaces is very low and disinfection is not effective.
Regular cleaning staffcan clean and disinfect community spaces.
Ensure they are trained on appropriate use of cleaning and disinfection chemicals.
Wear disposable gloves and gowns for all tasks in the cleaning process, including handling trash.
Additional personal protective equipment (PPE) might be required based on the cleaning/disinfectant products being used and whether there is a risk of splash.
Gloves and gowns should be removed carefully to avoid contamination of the wearer and the surrounding area.
Wash your hands oftenwith soap and water for 20 seconds.
Always wash immediately after removing gloves and after contact with a person who is sick.
Hand sanitizer: If soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly dirty, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol may be used. However, if hands are visibly dirty, always wash hands with soap and water.
Always read and follow the directions on the label to ensure safe and effective use.
Keep hand sanitizers away from fire or flame
For children under six years of age, hand sanitizer should be used with adult supervision
Always store hand sanitizer out of reach of children and pets
Before and after providing routine care for another person who needs assistance (e.g., a child).
Alternative disinfection methods
The efficacy of alternative disinfection methods, such as ultrasonic waves, high intensity UV radiation, and LED blue light against COVID-19 virus is not known.
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.
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.