Achyut Adhikari, Kharel, Karuna
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 may remain viable for several hours on different types of surfaces. However, the transmission of the virus from a surface to a person has not been documented. The spread of the COVID-19 virus occurs most frequently through close person-to-person contact — within about 6 feet — from either direct contact or respiratory droplets from coughs or sneezes. Following proper environmental and cleaning programs will limit the survival of the COVID-19 virus on surfaces.
Cleaning alone would remove most of the germs and dirt from surfaces that people touch or that contact food. Disinfection after cleaning will kill the remaining germs of the cleaned surface. Follow CDC guidelines for facilities visited by people suspected of having COVID-19 or who have been confirmed as having the disease.
Visibly dirty surfaces should first be cleaned and then disinfected; otherwise, the chemicals will not be effective against the virus.
Follow the manufacturer’s direction for application and proper ventilation. The CDC recommends the following method to prepare an effective bleach solution:
If you need to prepare a specific concentration of bleach solution, the information detailed below can be helpful:
Assuming a concentration of 5.25% hypochlorite in chlorine bleach, use the following volumes to achieve a concentration of chlorine at 65 to 400 parts per million.
Amount of chlorine bleach/gallon
Chlorine strength (ppm)
1 teaspoon (5 mL)
1 tablespoon (15 mL)
1 fluid ounce (30 mL)
To note, 1% = 100 ppm, 1 gallon = 768 teaspoons
For example, if we want to make a 100 ppm sanitizing solution in 1 gallon of wash water using Clorox bleach with a concentration of 5.25% hypochlorite:
Cleaning up after an infected individual has been in the facility
Funding Source: Funding for this publication was made possible, in part, by the Food and Drug Administration through PAR-16-137 and USDA Specialty Crop Block Program 2018-70020-28874.