March 16, 2020
With the emergence of the Coronavirus pandemic, we want to keep our customers and potential customers informed with information from reliable sources such as the CDC and the World Health Organization. It is important to stay informed with information to protect yourself and your facility from Coronavirus outbreaks. We want to address some frequently asked questions.
What is Coronavirus?
Coronavirus derives from a group of viruses that cause illness in animals or humans. Several types of Coronaviruses cause symptoms you are familiar with similar to the common cold, (SARS-CoV) 2003 or (MERS) 2012. The strain of Coronavirus that is part of the pandemic is COVID-19. It was discovered in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
- Dry Cough
- Aches And Pains
- Sore Throat
- Runny Nose
Symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. As of now, it is estimated 80% of people recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Older people, and those with pre-existing underlying health issues like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness.
How is the Coronavirus spread?
The Coronavirus is mainly spread person to person through small droplets from the nose or the mouth through coughing or exhaling. When these droplets land on objects around the person or enter directly through a non-infected person’s mouth, eyes and or nose they will become infected. Practicing social distancing (6-feet) has been strongly encouraged as well as hand-hygiene is so crucial to the prevention of spread. Feel free to watch our hand-hygiene for healthcare video.
How can I protect myself from the Coronavirus?
- Again Social distancing 6 feet and hand hygiene. We are offering our clients a free hand hygiene course.
- Avoid touching your eyes, mouth or nose. That is how the disease spreads.
- Cover your mouth when you sneeze and cough
- Stay home if you are feeling unwell
- Avoid traveling
What is the likelihood that I catch the Coronavirus?
The likelihood that you catch the Coronavirus is not a one-sized fit all estimate. It mostly depends on where you have traveled. For example, those who have recently traveled to China or Italy are at a higher risk than someone who has only been in New York or Pennsylvania.
Should I worry about the Coronavirus?
Children and young adults are at low risk for the effects of the Coronavirus. Typically, 1 out of 5 people who catch the disease are hospitalized. Much like any other disease, the elderly and those who have pre-existing illnesses are more likely to experience severe illness.
Should I wear a face mask?
Only wear a face mask if you are experiencing Coronavirus symptoms or if you are in the care of someone with the Coronavirus.
How long does the Coronavirus stay on surfaces?
There is no definitive answer for how long the Coronavirus stays on surfaces. As a best practice, be sure to clean surfaces with a simple disinfectant often.
Overall, it is important to stay informed with it comes to fighting or preventing the Coronavirus. Be sure to visit the CDC or WHO for more information.
The full content can be found by visiting https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses
Waste Management QAs
Q: What do waste management companies need to know about wastewater and sewage coming from a healthcare facility or community setting with either a known COVID-19 patient or person under investigation (PUI)?
A: Waste generated in the care of PUIs or patients with confirmed COVID-19 does not present additional considerations for wastewater disinfection in the United States. Coronaviruses are susceptible to the same disinfection conditions in community and healthcare settings as other viruses, so current disinfection conditions in wastewater treatment facilities are expected to be sufficient. This includes conditions for practices such as oxidation with hypochlorite (i.e., chlorine bleach) and peracetic acid, as well as inactivation using UV irradiation.
Q: Do wastewater and sewage workers need any additional protection when handling untreated waste from healthcare or community setting with either a known COVID-19 patient or PUI?
A: Wastewater workers should use standard practices including basic hygiene precautions and wear the recommended PPE as prescribed for their current work tasks when handling untreated waste. There is no evidence to suggest that employees of wastewater plants need any additional protections in relation to COVID-19.
Q: Should medical waste or general waste from healthcare facilities treating PUIs and patients with confirmed COVID-19 be handled any differently or need any additional disinfection?
A: Medical waste (trash) coming from healthcare facilities treating COVID-2019 patients is no different than waste coming from facilities without COVID-19 patients. CDC’s guidance states that management of laundry, food service utensils, and medical waste should be performed in accordance with routine procedures. There is no evidence to suggest that facility waste needs any additional disinfection.
More guidance about environmental infection control is available in section 7 of CDC’s Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with Confirmed COVID-19 or Persons Under Investigation for COVID-19 in Healthcare Settings.
- CDC Infection Control Environmental Infection Control Guidance
- OSHA 2019 Novel Coronavirus websiteexternal icon
- Detailed information on environmental infection control in healthcare settings can be found in CDC’s Guidelines for Environmental Infection Control in Health-Care Facilities
- PA Department Of Health
- NYS Department Of Health