May 29th 2020
How long does the virus live on surfaces:
It is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces, but it seems to behave like other coronaviruses. Studies suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This may vary under different conditions (e.g. type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment).
Good hand hygiene is essential to minimise transmission of infectious droplets.
Always wear disposable gloves when cleaning. When finished, place used gloves in a rubbish bin. Wash your hands immediately after handling these items.
Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water regularly for at least 20 seconds, making sure you dry them thoroughly with a paper towel. You can also use hand sanitiser (containing at least 60 percent alcohol) if soap and water are not available and if your hands are not visibly dirty. If using hand sanitiser, cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
Clinicians must wash hands with soap and water before seeing each patient and donning PPE
The clinic will be cleaned thoroughly by our contracted cleaners at a minimum 3 x per week and more as patient footfall increases.
Frequent cleaning and disinfecting of objects and surfaces during the day particularly in areas of high use such as door handles, light switches, reception area using disinfectant products provided will be the responsibility of all staff who are in the clinic that day.
When cleaning thoroughly and efficiently it is good to remember two general principles.
- Top to bottom: start cleaning surfaces higher up and work your way to the floor. This method ensures that any particulates or debris fall to the floor which will be cleaned last.
- Clean to dirty: start by cleaning surfaces and objects that are cleaner and work your way to cleaning dirtier items (eg, toilets). Avoid going from an area that has not been cleaned to an area that has been cleaned.
Before treating a patient
Wash your hands before applying PPE
Please open a window in your treatment room and be aware of confidentiality with any noise that might carry. Please explain to the patient if asked that flowing air lowers risk of transmission.
Infection control during treatments
Use a paper towel on the plinth
If you need to use a pillow during treatment do not place on the floor/other surfaces after use before it is cleaned.
If you use any laundry (we will encourage patients to bring their own towels) place in a clean pillow case ready for removal at the end of each session
Try to avoid massage products (if used) getting on to the plinth and no oil to be used. If there is spillage wipe away immediately using soapy spray to prevent the vinyl cracking.
Patient equipment which cannot be adequately disinfected such as elastic loops and bands, massage balls should be purchased for self-use by the patient and bought to each session.
Avoid touching your face during treatments
Protocol for cleaning room between patients:
Between each patient, we will allow 15 minutes to clean all surfaces using spray and wipes provided in each room. Physios must stick to their appointment times to allow enough time to wipe down the room in between patients and change PPE.
Clean your hands (with soap and water for 20 seconds) after removing PPE. Change your gloves for cleaning of the equipment. Dry your hands with disposable paper towels.
Using the soap spray provided and a single use paper towel to clean:
- The chair handles of the patient chair
- The pillows where applicable
- The treatment plinth including attention to the nose hole area if the patient has been prone
Anti-bac wipes should be used to clean the nose hole after soap cleaning
Anti-bac wipes should be used to clean medical equipment touched by the patient including items such as the treadmill screen or handles, swiss ball
No alcohol wipes or bleach products to be used on the vinyl plinth as this results in the fabric cracking and adds to infection risk. Anti-bac wipes provided can be used around the nose hole
Make sure you clean any patient touch points such as the stair handles if the patient went upstairs to reception.
If any item of laundry is used, please place inside a clean pillowcase (this allows for the dirty laundry to be placed directly into machine without being touched) and put in the lidded laundry basket in the kitchen area. Please make sure there is a plastic bag inside the laundry basket prior to placing the laundry in the basket.
No towels of facecloths must be used for wiping massage products off the patient
Protocol for cleaning room at end of session:
Please make sure before you leave the clinic that you have used an antibacterial wipe to clean these touch points:
- Cupboard doors
- Window latches
- Any internal door handles
- Light switches
- Stair rails to reception
- Equipment used such as swiss balls, reflex hammers, massage lotion, hawk tolls, acupuncture equipment, mats, weights equipment
Sweep the treatment room floor
Workstations – Each staff member should still wipe down the mouse and keyboard with a 70% alcohol screen wipe even if removing to take home. No stationary items to be shared. Please keep your pen and similar items on you and bring to work each session.
Empty your bin, tying the bag and write the date clearly on the bag. Put a new bag in the bin
Place the treatment room bin bag in the rubbish bin in the cellar.
When you have removed your gloves, please wash your hands for 20 seconds.
If you have used the kitchen or toilet whilst at work please ensure that all touch points are wiped down using the disinfectant spray and kitchen roll provided
Last to leave the building
Before leaving the building please take a wipe and clean:
- Main Entrance Door handles in and out
- Alarm keypad
Please hoover the entrance floor where needed as this is reflective of the patient first impression about hygiene.
Regular checks will be carried out by line managers to ensure that the necessary cleaning procedures are being followed.
Training will be implemented for all clinic staff in infection control procedures
Wash your hands for 20 seconds before leaving the building