Revised 4/3/2020 

Revised 4/24/2020 with clarifications.

Revised 4/30/2020 with update regarding EHRS tracing of Suspect/Confirmed Penn cases.

Revised 4/20/2021 with information from updated CDC guidance dated 4/6/2021.


This guidance provides recommendations on the cleaning and disinfection of rooms, areas, and labs that those with suspected, probable and/or confirmed COVID-19 cases have worked in or visited. This guidance is aimed at limiting the survival of novel coronavirus in key environments. These recommendations will be updated if additional information becomes available. These recommendations are adapted from the CDC guidelines focused on community, non-healthcare facilities (e.g., schools, institutions of higher education, offices, daycare centers and businesses). 

If suspected, probable or confirmed COVID-19 cases are identified, housekeeping will close off building areas used by the person to the extent feasible until cleaning and disinfection is performed. Lab workers should close off the lab space and not use or otherwise enter the lab space for at least 24 hours after the employee with the suspected, probable or confirmed case leaves the lab.

General Cleaning of Building Areas:

Notify FRES (Faramarz Vakili) immediately for enhanced cleaning and disinfection of building areas outside the lab. Cleaning and disinfection should include all areas used by the ill lab worker including all restrooms, interior high contact surfaces such as door handles/knobs/crashbars, light switches, elevators, bottle fill stations and building entrances. Gloves, safety glasses and a face covering must be worn by housekeeping for cleaning and disinfection.

Lab Cleaning:

After the 24-hour waiting period, lab workers must clean and disinfect all lab surfaces with products that are EPA-approved for use against the virus that causes COVID-19. A list of disinfection products is available here.  You may also use alcohol to clean surfaces.  Exercise caution as even 70% ethanol is flammable and can be ignited.  The recommended best practice is to saturate a wipe with ethanol solution and apply to a surface rather than directly spraying the surface if ignition sources are nearby. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time).  Clean handles for sinks, DI water systems, cabinets (including acid and flammable liquid), fume hood sashes, lab benches, phones, freezer and incubator doors.  Wear gloves, safety glasses and a face covering while you clean.

Launder the employee’s lab coat. It is safe to wash lab coats from a person who is sick with COVID-19 with other people’s items. Disinfect employee safety glasses, face shields, keyboards and books (including lab notebooks) used by the employee.

See Additional Cleaning and Disinfecting Guidance from CDC below.