Last Revised: September 07, 2021

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.

Revised 9/7/2021 following return to campus

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  schools, institutions of higher education, offices, daycare centers and businesses). 

The virus that causes COVID-19 can land on surfaces. It’s possible for people to become infected if they touch those surfaces and then touch their nose, mouth, or eyes. In most situations, the risk of infection from touching a surface is low. The most reliable way to prevent infection from surfaces is to regularly wash hands or use hand sanitizer.

General Cleaning of following a Covid Positive Diagnosis:

The Penn Cares Contact Tracing team will alert appropriate parties concerning locations that require cleaning.

Penn Housekeeping or contracted service providers will clean public areas such as 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.

Additional cleaning for College housing:

Remaining students will be provided with disinfectant wipes and instructions on cleaning their residence.  

Additional cleaning for Administrative areas:

After the 24-hour waiting period, Penn Housekeeping or contracted service providers will clean offices and cubicles.  

Additional cleaning for Labs:

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.

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