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Managing Risks Related to Covid-19 (Wuhan Coronavirus) - Discussion
Briefing for Hospitality Laundries
Briefing for Hospitality Sector
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This following section is intended to begin a discussion on operational aspects of laundries such as detailed risk assessment, employee awareness, policies and considerations on personal protective equipment to help manage risks related to Wuhan novel coronavirus (Covid-19).
Covid-19 infection is classified as an airborne high consequence infectious disease (HCID). There are now several confirmed cases of Covid-19 infection in the UK - https://www.datawrapper.de/_/0u9xT/. Based on the World Health Organization’s declaration that this is a public health emergency of international concern, the UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the public from low to moderate. Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.
TSA recommends a detailed risk assessment covering at least the following aspects (not in any order of priority):
Decision on How to Handle Textile Articles Exposed to Suspected or Known Cases
Coronoavirus is a lipid enveloped virus and can survive on surfaces for several days; therefore, infected (confirmed / known cases) linen may pose a risk to laundry staff through textile or contaminated surfaces/PPE. Laundry operations should be able to make a final decision on whether to take the linen back to the laundry to be processed or would they like the linen in question incinerated. Thermal or chemical-thermal laundering processes i.e. (competently validated and /or BS EN 14065 certified process) may be adequate to inactivate lipid enveloped viruses in textiles. There does not appear to be any specific guidance in the published literature. Public Health England have provided specific response to the TSA as follows.
'The infected linen should be bagged in accordance with infection control procedures. Current decontamination guidance for the NHS states ‘After cleaning with neutral detergent, a chlorine-based disinfectant should be used, in the form of a solution at a minimum strength of 1,000ppm available chlorine’.
Individual operators should consider robust procedures to collect, sort and disinfect the linen. We will endavour to update this page as soon as we have more information available.
Additionally, the Section on Management of Linen, Page 11 of WHO’s Interim Infection Prevention and Control with a focus on Ebola provides clear guidance on managing linen.
Reference Link: https://apps.who.int/iris/rest/bitstreams/583365/retrieve
Casanova, L., Rutala, W.A., Weber, D.J. and Sobsey, M.D., 2010. Coronavirus survival on healthcare personal protective equipment. Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, 31(5), pp.560-561.
Geller, C., Varbanov, M. and Duval, R.E., 2012. Human coronaviruses: insights into environmental resistance and its influence on the development of new antiseptic strategies. Viruses, 4(11), pp.3044-3068.
Lai, M.Y., Cheng, P.K. and Lim, W.W., 2005. Survival of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 41(7), pp.e67-e71.
Sattar, S.A., Springthorpe, V.S., Karim, Y. and Loro, P., 1989. Chemical disinfection of non-porous inanimate surfaces experimentally contaminated with four human pathogenic viruses. Epidemiology & Infection, 102(3), pp.493-505.
Wang, X.W., Li, J.S., Jin, M., Zhen, B., Kong, Q.X., Song, N., Xiao, W.J., Yin, J., Wei, W., Wang, G.J. and Si, B.Y., 2005. Study on the resistance of severe acute respiratory syndrome-associated coronavirus. Journal of virological methods, 126(1-2), pp.171-177.
SDU Report on End-of-Life of Laundry Textiles
What different options are available to us in terms of reuse and recycle of cotton, cotton/ polyester blends and 100% polyester?