What we know:
The World Health Organisation states that, as well as being transmitted via respiratory and aerosol droplets, it is also possible to contract Covid-19 through surface transmission:
The virus can also spread after infected people sneeze, cough on, or touch surfaces, or objects, such as tables, doorknobs and handrails. Other people may become infected by touching these contaminated surfaces, then touching their eyes, noses or mouths without having cleaned their hands first.
The virus’ survival time on surfaces depends on a number of factors, including the type of surface, temperature, relative humidity and specific strain of the virus. What we do now know is that the virus can remain active for anything between a few hours and up to nine days.
For this reason, cleaning your vehicle thoroughly upon drop-off is vital; both for you and for the next traveller.
Best practice when cleaning surfaces:
Wear disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. Gloves should be discarded after each cleaning. If reusable gloves are used, those gloves should be dedicated for cleaning and disinfection of surfaces for COVID-19 and should not be used for other purposes. Clean hands immediately after gloves are removed.
If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
What cleaning agent should I use?
Diluted household bleach solutions can be used on hard surfaces and 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.
- Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. This can cause fumes that may be very dangerous to breathe in.
Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol may also be used.
As well as bench surfaces, ensure all other hard surfaces are wiped down, including door and refrigerator handles, window latches, switches and wooden, vinyl or leather seating.
Be mindful of the nature of the surface and aware that certain applications may blister or fade certain surfaces.
Linens and other items that go in the laundry:
- Wear disposable gloves when handling dirty laundry and then discard after each use
- Do not shake dirty laundry. This will minimize the possibility of dispersing virus through the air.
- Launder items as appropriate in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry items completely.
- If soft furnishing covers (squabs and cushions) can be laundered, we would encourage this as well.
For general information, please follow this link: https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-information-specific-audiences/covid-19-general-cleaning-and-disinfection-advice