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Persons self-isolating to prevent the spread of COVID-19: Laundry and cleaning

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Sheets, towels and clothes used by the person in self-isolation or the sick person may be washed along with other household laundry. However, if they are soiled with body fluids like spit, vomit, urine or stool, they should be washed separately.

  • The person doing the laundry should avoid touching dirty laundry from a sick person.
  • Use disposable gloves to put the laundry items of a sick person in a bag to take them to the washing machine.
  • Don’t shake out the dirty laundry or the laundry bag. Wash laundry and the laundry bag in hot water.


Garbage (such as used tissues) should be placed in a plastic bag. Close the bag tightly and put it with the other household garbage.

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Wash hands often

People living in the same household as a sick person should wash their hands and forearms with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds (or hand sanitizer) after any contact with the sick person or objects and surfaces touched, such as the night table, dishware.

Wash hands:

  • Before and after preparing food and before eating.
  • After using the toilet, and when hands appear to be dirty. Before and after cleaning, and after removing gloves.

Utensils and dishes

  • People in self-isolation or who are sick should not share forks, spoons and dishes with others.
  • Their dishes can be washed in warm water with regular dish soap or in the dishwasher.
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Cleaning and disinfecting

Cleaning and disinfecting are efficient ways of eliminating the virus. If possible, the person who is sick or in self-isolation should clean at least once a day:

  • Frequently touched surfaces, such as door handles, light switches, night table, and other bedroom furniture. Wash hands before cleaning.
  • Bathroom – toilet seat, bowl, sinks and taps. If shared with others, it must be disinfected after each use.
  • Use soap and warm water or household cleaner to clean surfaces.
  • To disinfect, use a 1 to 9 solution of household bleach. Make a fresh batch each day as it loses effectiveness over time.
  • If a caregiver or other household member is doing the cleaning, they could wear waterproof gloves. These should be washed after use.



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