How to Deep Clean After a Norovirus School Outbreak Part 1

Norovirus, also known as the 'Winter Vomiting Bug' is the leading cause of gastroenteritis affecting more than 600,000 people every year in the UK. Highly contagious, symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach pain, causing considerable disruption to nurseries, schools and halls of residence. The virus can be transmitted through person-to-person contact or touching infected surfaces such as toilets, taps and tabletops.

Many schools and nurseries understand the issue and promote the simple and effective control measure, hand washing. Hand washing is the only way to prevent the spread of Norovirus, hand sanitisers and alcohol gels do not work. (Check out our video for handwashing technique here)

So, what do you do when a Norovirus outbreak occurs within the school premises? Here, we outline the cleaning regimes required during and following a viral outbreak, including the cleaning equipment, use of correct chemicals, and the process of cleaning, removing and disposal of body fluids.

Disposable PPE for school outbreaks of Norovirus including disposable gloves, aprons and overshoes

PPE, janitorial and cleaning supplies used to tackle an outbreak

Suitable Janitorial Supplies: Spray Bottle, Colour-coded Bucket, Warning Signs, Carpet Extraction Carpet Cleaner, if applicable, Wiping Cloths, Colour-coded Mop, Bio Hazard kit, Clinical Waste Bags, Long-Arm Grippers, if required

Suitable Disposable PPE: Disposable Overall, Disposable Gloves, Protective Shoes (if identified on risk assessment.)

Suitable Jangro Cleaning Chemicals: Cleaner Disinfectant, Foaming Bactericidal Cleaner, Medical Sanitiser, Sanitaire, Multi-Purpose Cleaner, Odour Neutraliser, Perfumed Toilet Cleaner, Bleach.

10 Step Guide to cleaning, removal and disposal of body fluids

Spillages of diarrhoea and vomit need cleaning as quickly as possible. The premises should have a Spillage Kit available for use in clearing spills on hard surfaces and floors. Staff should be aware of the contents of the kit and trained in its use and the proper management of biohazard and body fluid spillages.
  • Step 1: Always assess the risk of carrying out the required task before you begin.
  • Step 2: Isolate the affected area, display warning signs.
  • Step 3: Make sure that all the protective clothing and equipment you require is available (see equipment checklist for details).
  • Step 4: Wash and sanitise hands, then put on the protective clothing before commencing.
  • Step 5: If applicable, safely remove any sharps and other hazardous waste.
  • Step 6:Safely remove spills with absorbent granules, such as Sanitiaire and a disposable scoop. The area should be cleaned thoroughly, spray all surfaces and equipment with Jangro Cleaner Disinfectant, Jangro Virucidal Cleaner or Jangro Medical Sanitiser.
  • Step 7: Wipe thoroughly with a disposable wipe or cleaning cloth. Replace cloths with new as soon as they become contaminated with soiling. Place all waste, including any used cloths and disposable PPE in a clinical waste bag for appropriate disposal.
  • Step 8: All re-usable items must be thoroughly cleaned, disinfected and dried before being returned to the correct storage area.
  • Step 9: Thoroughly wash and sanitise your hands on removal of gloves.
  • Step 10: Remove warning signs when the area is dry.
Note: Report any shortfalls in the bio hazard kit, protective clothing or equipment used for dealing with body fluids to the person responsible for maintaining stock levels.

For spillages on a carpet, clean the affected area thoroughly using either Jangro Odour Neutraliser or Micro Clean. If appropriate use a steam cleaner or a carpet extraction machine. The recommended laundering and steam cleaning temperature is 70°C.

See the next article regarding How to Deep Clean After a Norovirus School Outbreak Part 2. This covers the process for cleaning communal areas and washrooms during an outbreak, concluding with a suggested environmental cleaning process to be taken once the outbreak is over.

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