Sanitation of Clothing and Equipment – COVID-19

The basic precaution for preventing transmission of coronavirus COVID-19, and most other viral infections is proper handwashing and avoiding touching your face with your hands. The virus (COVID-19) is stable for several hours to days in aerosols and on surfaces, according to a new study from National Institutes of Health, CDC, UCLA and Princeton University scientists in The New England Journal of Medicine

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

  • Don’t touch your face with your hands before you wash them thoroughly.
  • Sanitize surfaces that you handle throughout your shift, before the start of your shift.
  • CLEAN AND DISINFECT per these guidelines from the CDC
  • Sanitize your hands before entering your “sanitized office” which for most officers is their cruiser.
    • Bleach Solutions
      • Surfaces must be wetted for at 10 minutes with properly mixed, fresh bleach solution.
      • Dirty surfaces must be cleaned prior to the application of the solution.
      • Bleach loses it efficacy when exposed to light and heat and must be discarded after 24 hours.
    • There are commercially available viralcides that can be a better solution than bleach
      • These are stable and generally require less contact time to be effective.
      • Most do not require mixing. Zep makes a product available for less than $11 per gallon at local home improvement stores.
        • It has been used on the MDCs exchanged with R.C.I.C.
        • Most do not contain bleach.
  • The COVID-19 virus is not absorbed into the skin from your clothing
    • Practice proper hygiene and don’t touch mucous membranes (basically your face) without washing your hands
    • Remove and bag your uniform at the end of your shift
    • Launder porus clothing items in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Launder uniforms using the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely, or
    • Use products with the EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims
      • Examples at this link are suitable for porous surfaces.
  • N-95 masks are generally designed for single use. Due to lack of availability, they are being used longer than intended.
    • A germicidal UV light can disinfect materials when properly used.
      • These lamps are often found in law enforcement agencies in evidence drying cabinets.
    • This study describes a working process to disinfect and redistribute N-95 masks.
  • The COVID-19 virus can be aerosolized by coughing.
    • During transportation of any individual avoid potentially aerosolized droplets
      • Keep the rear windows of the cruiser open.
      • Run the heating/ac system with the fan on high
      • Make sure it is not on recirculate
      • Sanitize all surfaces in the rear with a viralicide after discharge of the passenger.

Mobile Data Computers in Cruisers

Officers using MDCs anywhere in Hamilton County, check the RCIC website (search “MDC”) for better alternatives to bleach. They can and should be used on all nonporous surfaces you handle (gear shift, door handles, steering wheel, etc.) 

Encounters with Persons – CPR

This guide has information is intended to help you reduce the risk for COVID-19) transmission, especially with regards to resuscitation care. The information here is drawn primarily from U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations

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