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COVID-19 Preventative Measures: Preparing for an Outbreak in Your Community - B



Authors as Published

Renee Boyer, Professor and Extension Specialist, Food Science and Technology, Virginia Tech; and Ben Chapman, Professor and Food Safety Extension Specialist, North Carolina State University

Current evidence suggests that novel coronavirus may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces. Cleaning followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for prevention of C0VID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in households and community settings.


  • Clean surfaces using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection
  • Diluted household bleach solutions, alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol, and most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective tor disinfection.


  • Follow manufacturer's instructions for application and proper ventilation
  • Prepare a bleach solution by mixing:
    • 5 tablespoons (1/3 cup) bleach per gallon of water or
    • 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water
  • Use containers of bleach that have not been opened longer than 30 days


  • Wear disposable gloves while cleaning and discard after cleaning. Follow glove removal procedure to avoid contaminating hands ( Wash your hands after removing gloves
  • Clean any porous surfaces (carpets, clothing, linens, etc.) with appropriate cleaners and/or launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting. Dry completely.
  • Do not shake dirty laundry. This will minimize the possibility of dispersing virus through the air.
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Publication Date

March 17, 2020