Cleaning and Disinfecting for the Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2)


We're Here to Help Updated May 27, 2020

ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, is here to help cleaning industry professionals understand how to properly clean and safely disinfect for the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).

Cleaning staff are essential workers during the pandemic. Use the resources on this page to educate and empower your teams as they work to keep facilities, clients and communities safer and healthier.  

Together with the Global Biorisk Advisory Council® (GBAC), a division of ISSA, we offer education, training, and business resources to help you manage the COVID-19 outbreak. If you need to reopen your business or facility with confidence following the pandemic, learn more about the new GBAC STAR™ Facility Accreditation, a program with the right protocols and best practices for biohazard response. 

  • News and Updates
  • Industry Training
  • Downloadable Tools
  • Government Updates
  • Additional Resources

Industry Training

ISSA offers educational resources for the cleaning industry to learn how to clean and disinfect for the coronavirus. You can watch a webinar, enroll in an online training course, or register for an in-person workshop.

GBAC STAR™ Facility Accreditation Program
The GBAC STAR™ Facility Accreditation Program provides the steps you need to reopen your business with confidence following the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic. By following the program’s protocols and best practices, you can instill trust in your customers and clients, and prepare for any recurring challenges in your workplace or facility. Contact us to learn how your facility can be accredited by GBAC STAR™.

Online Training

Online Training Courses
NEW! GBAC Fundamentals Online Training Course: Microbial Warrior™ Workshop
US$150 for ISSA members, $300 for non-members

Prepare, Respond, Recover | A GBAC Webinar on The 2019 Novel Coronavirus
Recording available to ISSA members only

In-Person Training

In-Person Training
GBAC at Clean Buildings Expo: Bio-Remediation and Response Fundamentals
Workshop hosted during Clean Buildings Expo, August 11-12, in Baltimore

Onsite and Consulting

Onsite Training and Consulting
ISSA expert trainers will travel to your facility to teach to your immediate training needs or to provide custom onsite solutions for challenges like:

  • Establishing cleaning and disinfection protocols for the coronavirus
  • Workloading a facility in a staffing crisis
  • Purchasing the proper tools during supply chain disruption.

Contact membership@issa.com to learn more and request a quote.

Government Updates

ACTION ALERT! The Clean Start: Back to Work Tax Credit
Contact your congressional delegation to request their support for the Clean Start: Back to Work Tax Credit as part of the next federal stimulus bill. The Back to Work Tax Credit would incentivize businesses to properly clean and disinfect their facilities when “stay at home” restrictions are lifted, as well as to help prevent further infections.

Become an Advocate for Clean
Sign up here to receive advocacy updates so that you can be the first to hear about pressing legislation, compliance deadlines, advocacy events, training, and more!

Watch the Advocacy Webinar Series
Recordings available to ISSA members only

Additional Resources for Coronavirus Cleaning

You can help prevent yourself from getting and spreading the coronavirus–and other respiratory illnesses–by following these steps:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. (Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives) Use 70% alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or shirt sleeve, not your hands.
  • Avoid close contact such as kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a list of EPA-registered disinfectant products that have qualified for use against SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Products appearing on EPA’s list registered disinfectant products have qualified for use against COVID-19 through the agency’s Emerging Viral Pathogen program. This program allows product manufacturers to provide EPA with data, even in advance of an outbreak, that shows their products are effective against harder-to-kill viruses than SARS-CoV-2. It also allows additional communications intended to inform the public about the utility of these products against the emerging pathogen in the most expeditious manner.

Coronaviruses are enveloped viruses, meaning they are one of the easiest types of viruses to kill with the appropriate disinfectant product. Consumers using these disinfectants on an enveloped emerging virus should follow the directions for use on the product’s master label, paying close attention to the contact time for the product on the treated surface (i.e., how long the disinfectant should remain on the surface).

EPA’s Emerging Viral Pathogen Guidance was developed and finalized in 2016 to allow for a rapid response in the event of an emerging viral pathogen outbreak. It was triggered for the first time ever for SARS-CoV-2 on January 29, 2020. The guidance outlines a voluntary, pre-approval process for making emerging viral pathogens claims. In the event of an outbreak, companies with pre-approved products can make off-label claims (for example in technical literature, non-label-related websites, and social media) for use against the outbreak virus.