1. Nalco Water Home
  2. Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Meeting an Urgent Need Safely
We’re supporting the frontline workers who use our cleaning and disinfecting solutions to maintain good hand hygiene and clean surfaces, tools and equipment so they can keep patients healthy, produce and prepare food safely and keep critical infrastructure running smoothly.


Protecting Our People
To help protect our employees and their families, we have required those who can work at home to do so, introduced additional social distancing and cleaning protocols at our facilities, and provided guidance, training and PPE to our field force. 


Working Safely On-site
For those employees who are working on-site to serve customers providing essential services, we’ve created specific protocols to ensure their safety and the safety of our customers.

Learn more about coronaviruses and how they spread

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How can my business combat COVID-19? 

 Work with your Ecolab team to determine which disinfectant products, training and compliance education opportunities exist for your business. 

Ecolab Businesses

HOSPITALS

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RESTAURANTS

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HOSPITALITY

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Ecolab Businesses

LONG TERM CARE

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FOOD & BEVERAGE

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TEXTILE CARE

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Learn from our experts

CDC Corona virus image, photo credit, Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAM.
Coronavirus Q&A with Ecolab Experts

This coronavirus is new and what we know about it continues to evolve. Our public health experts are committed to providing guidance and information to the most commonly asked questions around COVID-19.

WEBINAR: PUBLIC HEALTH MATTERS: UNDERSTANDING CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)

Ecolab experts discuss COVID-19 and how healthcare, long term care, hospitality, restaurants and food and beverage processing businesses can take action to help protect employees and customers. This hour-long webinar includes :30 min of Q&A with Ecolab experts on business-specific actions.

Cleaning workplace
5 Practical Steps to Defend Your Workplace from the Coronavirus

Learn about the manageable, practical steps you can take to significantly boost workplace hygiene compliance, from Dr. Ruth Petran, Ecolab VP of Research, Development & Engineering, Food Safety and Public Health.

What can I do to help combat COVID-19? 

Take Action: Focus on standard infection control practices, training and compliance.

Hand washing and environmental cleaning to protect against covid-19 infographic.

PERSONAL HYGIENE
Hand washing and environmental cleaning to protect against covid-19 infographic.
 
ENVIRONMENTAL HYGIENE
Coronavirus: Reducing the risk of infections

Use this video to help educate your employees on ways to help combat the spread of coronavirus. 

 

Good Hand Hygiene

Good hand hygiene is critical to stemming the spread of bacterial and viral infections. Frequently washing your hands and using proper protocols is something we can all do to help protect public health.

QA with Ecolab Experts

Ecolab experts in public health and infection prevention provide guidance to customers facing challenges from COVID-19 in their business.

Ecolab Expert

Linda Homan, RN, BSN, CIC

Senior Manager Clinical Affairs

Linda Homan is a board certified infection prevention specialist with over 20 years of experience. Linda is responsible for the development of clinical and educational solutions, applied clinical research and incorporation of clinical best practices in all healthcare offerings.

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Q. How can healthcare employees protect themselves in their work environment?
A. CDC currently recommends a cautious approach to patients under investigation for COVID-19. The EPA and the CDC recognize environmental surfaces as a vector for transmission of coronaviruses: 

Healthcare professionals should perform hand hygiene before and after all patient contact, contact with potentially infectious material, and before putting on and upon removal of PPE, including gloves.

  • If hands are visibly soiled, use soap and water before returning to alcohol-based hand sanitizer. 
  • Healthcare professionals entering the patient room should use standard precautions, contact precautions, airborne precautions, and eye protection (e.g., goggles or a face shield).  
  • For more information, including CDC checklists please visit Healthcare Insights.

Healthcare facilities should ensure that hand hygiene supplies are readily available in every care location.

  • Patients should be asked to wear a surgical mask as soon as they are identified and be evaluated in a private room with the door closed, ideally an airborne infection isolation room if available. Meticulous hand hygiene and environmental hygiene play a key role in these isolation precautions.
  • Routine cleaning and disinfection are appropriate for COVID-19 in healthcare settings, including those patient-care areas in which aerosol-generating procedures are performed. Be sure you are using an approved disinfectant from EPA list.

The CDC states that facilities must ensure healthcare professionals receive job or task-specific education and training on transmission of infectious agents, including refresher training.   

Contact your Ecolab team to discuss training opportunities.

Q. If a known sick person stayed in a hospital room how should it be cleaned?
A. 
Routine cleaning and disinfection are appropriate for COVID-19 in healthcare settings, including those patient-care areas in which aerosol-generating procedures are performed. Use a disinfectant with an EPA emerging viral pathogen claim. Clean equipment according to manufacturer’s instructions. The CDC states that facilities must ensure that healthcare professionals receive job or task-specific education and training on transmission of infectious agents, including refresher training.

Ecolab Expert

Tatiana A. Lorca, Ph.D.

Food Safety and Quality Programme Leader, Global Food & Beverage

Dr. Tatiana Lorca is Ecolab's RD&E Food Safety & Quality Programme Leader for the Global Food & Beverage division. Dr. Lorca works regularly with customers operating food and beverage processing plants on issues related to food safety and audit compliance.

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Q. Is there any evidence of transmission of the new coronavirus through foods such as meat? Or food originating in China? 
A.
Public health officials do not believe that consuming food, especially meats, represent a way that coronaviruses are being transmitted. Of course, to ensure food safety, proper cooking of raw meats is important, we recommend vigilance about standard food safety practices like temperature control, proper cooking, avoiding cross-contamination, etc.  

Q. What can I do in my food and beverage processing plant to protect my employees and customers?
A. Firstly we need to recognize COVID-19 poses more of a public health than food safety risk. A key priority is reducing the likelihood of infection amongst your employees. Ensure personnel understand how to properly protect themselves and each other. Ensure personnel health and hygiene practices are implemented. Ensure you maintain a clean and sanitary production environment by following good manufacturing practices every day from start to finish. Ensure food contact and non-food contact surfaces are cleaned and sanitized.

Ecolab Expert

Ruth Petran, Ph.D., CFS

Senior Corporate Scientist, Food Safety and Public Health

Dr. Petran provides technical expertise and consultation to internal and external customers on food safety and public health issues, by identifying and tracking emerging food safety trends and new control strategies.

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Q. I need to increase my usage rate or dose of disinfectant or cleaner?
A.
The use of specific disinfectants can be helpful in combatting COVID-19. All disinfectants and sanitizers should be used as directed on product label/instructions. This is however a great time to reinforce training and compliance to make sure surfaces and high-touch areas are being properly cleaned and employees are using infection prevention best-practices while at work.

Q. Does Ecolab have a product for use against coronavirus?
A. Yes, we offer specific disinfectants that have demonstrated effectiveness against viruses like the one causing COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) when used as directed. We also offer guidance and training on proper cleaning procedures to help reduce COVID-19 risk. If you are a current customer, you should speak with your account executive for specific information. If you are not a current customer, please visit Ecolab.com to contact us via email or phone.

Q. How long will coronaviruses survive on surfaces?
A.
The short answer is we don’t know yet. This is a new virus and studies are just beginning. Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that transmission of COVID-19 is not that likely to occur from an infected surface. Practically, the risk will be much lower from surfaces than from a direct droplet traveling through the air from an infected person. As in any potential outbreak situation, proper infection prevention with disinfectant for surfaces and high-touch surfaces is recommended.

Q. How can hospitality employees protect themselves in their work environment?
A.
Employees in a hotel or hospitality environment should follow standard infection prevention techniques – things like, washing their hands frequently, staying home when they’re sick, using approved disinfectants with an EPA emerging viral pathogen claim following the specified procedures. 

Q:  Since testing is not possible using COVID-19, how do you determine what kinds of chemical disinfectants can be used against COVID-19?
A:  For emerging or novel viruses like COVID-19, companies are unable to acquire the outbreak strain of virus to test the efficacy of their disinfectant products. Certain countries have policies or general claims that address this (e.g. US EPA Emerging Viral Pathogen Guidance*, EU viral claims) by utilizing a hierarchy of susceptibility of viruses to disinfectants. In general, these policies are based on the ability of a product to kill a ‘harder to kill’ virus and may or may not require preapproval for use in outbreak situations.  Care must be taken to use the appropriate dilution at the correct contact time for the suitable application listed on the product label to enable disinfection against SARS-CoV-2.  If you are a current customer, you should speak with your account executive for specific information. If you are not a current customer, please visit Ecolab.com to contact us via email or phone.

*In the US a product must be preapproved by US EPA. It must be a hospital disinfectant and carry approved Emerging Viral Pathogen language on the master label.

Ecolab Expert

Ed Snodgrass

RD&E Programme Lead, Institutional

Ed Snodgrass is a chemical engineer with more than 15 years of experience in new product development and efficacy for the hospitality, long term care and food service industries.

Q. What should I do about linens, bedding and other textiles?
A. There currently isn’t evidence that respiratory viruses like COVID-19 are spread through textiles, linens or bedding. Because droplets may carry disease, proper infection prevention protocol for changing and cleaning linens and bedding is recommended.

Hotel and hospital employees should always wear proper personal protective equipment when handling soiled linen. If a resident or patient is infected with COVID-19 take these steps:

  • Bag the linen when cleaning the room and keep it isolated until loaded into the laundry machine. 
  • Wash the linen with a standard laundry detergent at a minimum and dry according to standard linen drying guidelines. 
  • Handle clean linen minimally, fold and store in a clean dry area.
  • Do not handle clean linen immediately after handling soiled linen.  

Contact your Ecolab representative for information about proper protocol and disinfectant laundry products.

Q. Spa, Jacuzzi advice?
A.
 People who are infectious should not be using these areas. High-touchpoint surfaces should be disinfected regularly. Follow standard procedures for maintaining your pool, spa or jacuzzi facilities. There is currently, no evidence of transmission through this route.

Angela Becker Senior Program Leader for the Textile Care Division Ecolab

Angela Becker

Senior Programme Leader, Textile Care Division, R&D Centre

 In this role, she is responsible for managing the Commercial Laundry Product Development Team and Technical Service Team for North America R&D. Angela has worked for Ecolab for 22 years in a variety of positions, and she has worked within the commercial laundry market for six years, providing technical support, research, and knowledge sharing to all of Textile Care’s customers. She is especially passionate about proper laundering and processing of healthcare linen and is an advocate for the importance of managing your healthcare linens throughout the entire linen flow cycle.

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Q. What infection prevention methods should I follow in a Commercial Healthcare Laundry facility?
A. 
All linens in a Commercial Healthcare Laundry plant should be treated as if they are contaminated and universal handling precautions need to be followed.

  • Avoid touching nose, mouth, eyes, face while handling contaminated linens; wash hands properly and often, use hand sanitizers. Wear all PPE to protect employees from exposure. 
  • Proper separation/barriers should be in place between clean and soiled linen in the plant and throughout the transportation process.
  • All hard surfaces touching soiled and clean linens should be disinfected regularly with an EPA registered hard surface disinfectant with the proper claim covering COVID-19. 
  • Linens should be washed in a wash formula following CDC recommended guidelines for contaminated healthcare linens; time/temperature or time/temperature/antimicrobial intervention (laundry disinfectant)1.
  • Increase employee training on proper hand washing, proper donning and doffing of PPE.

Q. What is the CDC or WHO guidance for processing potentially contaminated linens?
A.
Today, the CDC provides the following guidance for COVID-19 potentially contaminated linens:

  • Management of laundry, food service utensils, and medical waste should also be performed in accordance with routine procedures. Reference CDC.gov
  • Routine procedures for washing healthcare linens by the CDC and also by the WHO include thermal OR thermal/chemical guidance:
    • For thermal decontamination, wash with a detergent at 160F or greater for 25 min or more for healthcare linens.
    • For thermal/chemical decontamination, washing at temperatures lower than 160F, chose a chemical that is suitable for low-temperature washing
    • A product suitable for low-temperature washing includes a detergent and an antimicrobial intervention to compensate for a lower temperature wash. An antimicrobial intervention is AdvaCare Disinfectant, an EPA registered laundry disinfectant (EPA no. 1677-193) as per label directions for disinfection (140F for 5 min at 4 oz/CWT).
    • If temperatures of 160F for 25 min cannot be obtained for healthcare linens, then utilization of a laundry disinfectant is the best practice to compensate for  a lower temperature wash.  Ecolab’s AdvaCare Disinfectant utilized at a laundry disinfection level is a best practice recommendation.
    • Note: no programme or product can make a direct kill claim for COVID-19 in the laundering wash process.

  • Routine washing of other textiles and linens includes the following:
    • Wash formulas are designed around optimization of the four main wash parameters, which include proper time, temperature, mechanical action, and chemical action.  In addition, the laundering process relies on many other mechanisms for soil removal which includes dilution, temperatures to increase solubility of soils and permeability of the textiles, chemistries which work together to  saponify oils and greases, denature proteins, and remove organic materials.  All of the mentioned processes aid in soil and contaminant removal on textiles, resulting in a clean textile.
    • A best practice recommendation  to setting up an optimized wash process is using an antimicrobial in the wash process, AdvaCare Disinfectant, an EPA registered laundry disinfectant (EPA No. 1677-193), at either a laundry sanitization rate or a laundry disinfection rate. The label directions must be followed to meet laundry sanitization or laundry disinfection claims. The EPA label also outlines the microorganism kill claims. Consult with your Ecolab representative for additional details on the use of this product.