This document provides guidance to people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 who
are able to receive care at home, and to their household members and/or caregivers,
regarding the cleaning of residences and disposal of waste.*
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released general guidance on
their website, Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), which should be reviewed closely and checked regularly. Additionally,
the CDPH webpage, Coronavirus Disease 2019, provides general information on how to
limit the spread of COVID-19:
• Washing hands with soap and water.
• Avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
• If you become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough, stay away from
work, school or other people.
These are all ways to reduce the risk of infection with a number of different viruses.
Residence Decontamination and Removal of COVID-19 Waste
CDC has released Interim Guidance for Preventing the Spread of Coronavirus Disease2019 (COVID-19) in Homes and Residential Communities.
That document provides detailed guidance, but these are the key current recommendations
of the CDC and CDPH regarding cleaning and waste disposal:
- Perform hand hygiene frequently. Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20
seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60%-95% alcohol. Handwashing- Clean Hands Save Lives.
- Respiratory etiquette: Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw into a lined
- Avoid sharing personal household items, dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating
utensils, towels or bedding with other people or pets in your home. After using these
items, wash thoroughly with soap and water.
- Wash laundry thoroughly: Wear disposable gloves while handling soiled items. Read
and follow the directions on the labels of bedding, clothing, detergent and/or washing
machines. Dry thoroughly using the warmest temperatures recommended on the
- Clean all “high-touch” surfaces every day, such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs,
fixtures, toilets, phones, etc. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or
body fluids on them. Use a regular household cleaning spray or wipe according to the
label instructions, which include precautions you should take when applying the
product, such as wearing gloves and making sure to have good ventilation during use
of the product.
- When removing personal protective equipment, first remove and dispose of gloves.
Then immediately clean your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand
sanitizer. Next, remove and dispose of facemask, and immediately clean your hands
again with soap and water or alcohol based hand sanitizer.
- Place all used gloves, facemasks and other contaminated items in a lined container
before disposing of them with other household waste.
- Clean your hands (with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer) immediately
after handling these items.
Individuals may also consult with their local health department or healthcare provider for any
COVID-19 related issues.