Generally, safely handling COVID-19 waste doesn’t require any special consideration beyond those that are currently in use to safeguard workers from hazards they encounter while managing wastewater and solid waste.
However, some territorial, tribal, local, or state health departments may have additional or different requirements for managing wastewater and solid waste related to COVID-19.
Here’s our simple guide to handling COVID-19 waste securely.
Waste produced at home
If you or someone in your home has contracted the coronavirus, it’s important to dispose of all COVID-19 waste carefully to protect other family members, sanitation workers, and the community in general. Here’s how to do it:
- Don’t throw gloves, face masks, or other waste materials into the dustbin
- Don’t throw used masks and gloves on the ground; always look for a trash receptacle
- Sanitize surfaces like toilet handles, faucets, doorknobs, etc. by using disinfectant wipes
- Sanitize your hands with a good sanitizer (that has at least 60% alcohol) or wash your hands frequently with a soap
- Throw face masks, gloves, tissues, and other items in a garbage bag and seal it
- Wash all clothing instantly after shopping
- Wash all towels, bedding, and other personal hygiene items before using them again
Waste produced in medical facilities
- Healthcare facilities should offer training on how to disinfect or dispose of PPE (personal protective equipment) for every worker
- Healthcare workers should use disposable/dedicated noncritical patientcare equipment, including thermometers, blood pressure cuffs, and the like
- Medical facilities should make sure there are no-touch receptacles for disposing of waste, especially in restrooms, inside waiting rooms, at entrances, and where patients check-in
- Medical professionals should use washable/disposable PPE like gowns, masks, and gloves
- Waste generated from people suffering from coronavirus should be handled as infectious waste. Therefore, standard waste disposal procedures must be followed
The Bottom line
For medical waste with known or potential coronavirus contamination, manage like you’d manage any other regulated medical waste because, fortunately, COVID-19 doesn’t come under the Category ‘A’ infectious substance.
Use PPE, safe work practices, and typical administrative and engineering controls like eye protection, face protection, and puncture-resistant gloves to prevent the exposure of workers to the streams of waste (or types of waste), including any contaminants within the materials. This would safeguard healthcare professionals from sharps and other dangerous items that can lead to exposure or cause injuries.
Medical-Systems offers biohazard waste disposal services in Denver
Medical-Systems specializes in compliantly collecting, transporting, treating, and disposing of biohazardous waste for healthcare facilities of all sizes. We’re the leader in biohazard waste removal services in Denver.
Give us a call now if you’re looking for sharps waste disposal, chemotherapy waste removal regulated medical waste removal, and infectious waste disposal services in Denver!