Work Area Cleaning and Disinfecting

Frequent cleaning and disinfecting are key to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 on campus. Facilities Services works diligently to clean and disinfect work areas daily throughout the University and has increased the frequency of cleaning surfaces in high-traffic areas. To supplement their efforts, all employees should be routinely cleaning and disinfecting their personal work areas and commonly touched areas within departments.

  • Personal work areas, including desks, chairs, keyboards and mice, and telephones, should be cleaned and disinfected daily.
  • Frequently touched surfaces in an office environment, including coffee makers, door handles, light switches and faucets, should also be cleaned and disinfected daily or more frequently depending on use.
  • Conference room tables and chairs and other shared work surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected after each use.
  • Shared office equipment, including touch pads on copiers, phones, and supplies such as staplers and hole punches, should also be cleaned and disinfected after each use.
  • Sharing of phones, desks and other office equipment should be avoided whenever possible.

How to Routinely Clean and Disinfect

  • Select a surface disinfecting product approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use in combatting the COVID-19 virus. Disinfectants received from the University’s central COVID-19 supplies have been reviewed and approved for use.
  • Read and follow the use directions and precautionary statements on the disinfectant’s label. Use gloves and eye protection when recommended on the product label.
  • If surfaces are visually dirty, clean with soap and water prior to disinfectant application.
  • Spray or wipe the area with an approved disinfecting product.
  • Adhere to the manufacturer’s recommended contact time for the disinfectant to know how long the surface should remain wet for the disinfectant to be effective.
  • Throw away wipes and cleaning towels after each use.
  • Wash hands after cleaning and disinfecting.
  • For sensitive electronic equipment, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and disinfecting.  If instructions are not available, use 70% isopropyl alcohol based sprays or wipes.

Cleaning Following a Confirmed COVID-19 Case

Upon notification of a positive test of a student, faculty or staff member, Facilities Services will initiate their comprehensive COVID-19 cleaning protocol.  On campus locations where the COVID-19 infected individual recently frequented for an extended period of time will be thoroughly disinfected prior to re-occupancy.

Selecting a Disinfectant

The EPA has identified disinfectants that are qualified for use against the COVID-19 Virus. The CDC has also identified a 70% alcohol solution is appropriate for surface disinfection. Surface disinfectants received from the University’s central COVID-19 supplies are approved by the EPA and CDC.   Safety and use information for disinfectants obtained from the University’s central COVID-19 supplies is provided below.

Please contact EHSS at ehss@syr.edu for questions about the selection or use of appropriate disinfectants.

Requesting COVID-19 Supplies

Schools, colleges and departments may request cleaning supplies for their areas following the COVID-19 PPE and Supplies Request Guidelines and form. Departments must be considerate of the supply limitations and plan for their initial needs only. Departments must not stockpile supplies to have for future use.

Disinfectant Safety and Use Information

  • Always read label for safe and effective use instructions
  • Store and use disinfectants appropriately
  • Use gloves and eye protection when recommended on the product label
  • Do not mix disinfecting products together
  • Use in ventilated areas, and do not eat, drink or inject disinfecting products
  • Do not use surface disinfectants directly on skin for skin sanitizing
  • Wash hands after cleaning and disinfecting

The following information is provided for the disinfectants currently being distributed for use at the University:

Name of the Disinfectant:  TB-Cide Quat (pump spray)

Name of the Disinfectant: Oxivir TB (pump spray)

Name of the Disinfectant:  Purell Surface Sanitizer (pump spray)

Name of the Disinfectant: Clorox Hydrogen Peroxide Disinfectant (pump spray)

Name of the Disinfectant: Clorox Disinfecting Wipes – Commercial Solutions

Name of the Disinfectant:  Purell Hand Sanitizing Wipes

Name of the Disinfectant:  Para BC 100

Name of the Disinfectant: 70% Ethanol (Ethyl Alcohol)- Recommended for Research Laboratory Use Only