Guidance on Laundering Procedures

Jackie Pappalardi and Lisa Volk in Clinical & Quality

Routine cleaning and disinfection procedures are appropriate and can be used for COVID-19 in healthcare settings, including those patient-care areas in which aerosol-generating procedures are performed. 

The antimicrobial action of the laundering process results from a combination of mechanical, thermal, and chemical factors. Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims are recommended for use against COVID-19. Hot water provides an effective means of destroying microorganisms.

Management of laundry, food service utensils, and medical waste should also be performed in accordance with routine procedures. Specifically, for linens, clothing and other items that go in the laundry: do not shake dirty laundry in order to minimize the possibility of dispersing virus through the air; wash items as appropriate in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions; launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry items completely; and dirty laundry that has been in contact with an ill person can be washed with other people’s items. Make sure to clean and disinfect hampers or other carts for transporting laundry according to guidance for hard or soft surfaces. Practicing good hand hygiene is important during all stages of cleaning. 

For more details and reference, please refer to the CDC resources listed here:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/caring-for-patients-H.pdf

https://www.cdc.gov/infectioncontrol/guidelines/environmental/background/laundry.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/cleaning-disinfection.html 

NYSDOH is reaching out to all nursing homes each day to make contact, request information and to show support. Please be sure to designate staff as your facility’s Point of Contact to assist in providing DOH with the most accurate information.

On this morning’s Town Hall meeting. Maureen McCarthy, Celtic Consulting, clarified a portion of CMS’ 1135 waiver related to the MDS. The waiver allows for an extended timeframe to complete and transmit the MDS for each resident. But it doesn’t change the need to open an MDS on each new resident and set the Assessment Reference Dates as required. You need to establish those elements of the MDS process. CMS allows up to 2 years to complete an MDS.

NYSHFA/NYSCAL CONTACTS:

Jackie Pappalardi, RN, BSN
Executive Director
518-462-4800 x16

Lisa Volk, RN, B.P.S., LNHA
Director, Clinical & Quality Services
518-462-4800 x15

Nancy Leveille, RN, MS
Director, Special Projects and Educational Development
518-462-4800 x20