C diff is a bacteria that causes severe diarrhea and swelling of the colon (https://www.cdc.gov/cdiff/what-is.html). C diff is contagious and can be extremely dangerous to elderly people and anyone with compromised immune systems. C diff can be properly cleaned and disinfected, but strict protocols should be followed to ensure the safety of the cleaning technician and anyone who enters the affected area prior to proper disinfection.
To start, identify the areas of c diff contamination and devise a plan to thoroughly clean each area. Many companies started offering COVID-19 disinfection during the pandemic, but didn’t follow the proper cleaning and disinfection protocols. Simply fogging an EPA-registered disinfectant generally will not be effective. Proper disinfection involves cleaning the organic material off of the surface of areas. Cleaning generally entails using disposable paper towels and wiping off a 2′ by 2′ section with each side of the towel, then throwing the towel away. This method reduces the spread of the contaminate while cleaning. Although tedious, it is a great way to properly clean surfaces. ATP testing should be done on several high-touch areas before cleaning and following the c diff cleanup phase. If the readings are over 30, the area should be re-cleaned and re-tested until the readings are under 30. After all areas have been properly cleaned, an EPA-registered disinfectant should be applied to all accessible surfaces. The disinfectant should have a claim to eliminate c diff on the label and the surface should be wet for the duration of the dwell time, which will also be listed on the label.
In summary, C diff cleanup can be performed by individuals with little training. However, being improperly trained or having little to no Personal Protective Equipment places the person cleaning at a much greater risk of contracting C diff. If respirators are to be worn in environments with C diff, the wearer must have a proper fit test completed and a medical evaluation to ensure the wearer can work in the respirator safely. Respirator cartridges should be replaced after 8 hours of work, or more often. Biohazard suits should be worn during the entire cleaning process and should be monitored for rips and tears. If a rip or tear is observed, the wearer should immediately replaced the torn suit with a brand new suit.
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