The article below is a top story from this week's ACTION newsletter—Care Providers of Minnesota's weekly newsletter for members. The newsletter focuses on current legislative issues, regulations, long-term care trends, and other Association news. Each Thursday evening, it is delivered to your inbox. To sign up for ACTION, contact Lisa Foss Olson (952-851-2483). To learn more about membership, visit our Become a Member page.


COVID-19 environmental precautions & controls

Doug Beardsley
By Doug Beardsley  |  March 13, 2020  |  All providers

Preventing and mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in long-term care centers is the top priority. Environmental infection control practices are essential to reduce the risk of the virus entering nursing facilities and assisted living communities.   
Detailed information on environmental infection control in health care settings can be found on the CDC website: “Guidelines for Environmental Infection Control in Health-Care Facilities” and “Guidelines for Isolation Precautions.”
The following environmental infection control practices should be implemented immediately:
  • Hand washing stations or alcohol-based hand rubs should be available at all entryways (Note: you may need to limit entryways to one primary entryway with temporary directional signs—but make sure you keep all egress doors in use for exiting)
  • Dedicated medical equipment should be used for patient care, when possible
  • Between each use, non-disposable medical equipment should be cleaned and disinfected—this should be done according to manufacturer's instructions and facility policies
  • Management of laundry, food service utensils, and medical waste should be performed in accordance with routine procedures
  • Environmental cleaning and disinfection procedures should be supervised—this ensures that proper procedures are followed consistently and correctly
    • A template handout for housekeeping and environmental staff on cleaning protocol is available here—you can modify as needed for your facility's needs

Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims are recommended for use against COVID-19. These products can be identified by the following claim: 
  • "[Product name] has demonstrated effectiveness against viruses similar to COVID-19 on hard nonporous surfaces. Therefore, this product can be used against COVID-19 when used in accordance with the directions for use against [name of supporting virus] on hard, nonporous surfaces." 

Specific claims for "COVID-19" will not appear on the product or master label. If there are no available EPA-registered products that have an approved emerging viral pathogen claim for COVID-19, products with label claims against human coronaviruses should be used according to label instructions. 
The EPA list of registered antimicrobial products for use against novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (the cause of COVID-19) can be viewed here

Doug Beardsley  |  Vice President of Member Services  |  |  952-851-2489


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Care Providers of Minnesota is a non-profit membership association with the mission to Empower Members to Performance Excellence. Our 900+ members across Minnesota represent non-profit and for-profit organizations providing services along the full spectrum of post-acute care and long-term services and support. We are the state affiliate for the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living, and with our national partners we provide solutions for quality care.

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