The hygiene of communal areas and facilities will need to be strictly maintained during the COVID-19 response as surfaces can contribute to the transmission of COVID-19. Cleaning and disinfection of surfaces at communal facilities such as toilets, showers, water points and distribution points should be done as frequently as possible or at least daily. It is particularly important to clean taps, door handles or other high-touch surfaces. In order to enable this cleaning the following should be considered:
- Where cleaning teams exist within camps already, they may need to modify or increase their duties. This may necessitate increased payment, the need to employ more staff and the need to provide them with additional training.
- Where cleaning teams do not exist within camps, then other WASH-related committees or groups should be used (such as pump operators, water-user committees, sanitation cleaners, service crews, garbage disposal crews and waste management staff).
- A cleaning roster could be established or each individual user could be given the ability to clean surfaces after use.
- Cleaning staff should be provided with PPE such as gloves, boots, goggles, face masks/shields and have access to handwashing facilities or sanitizer.
- PPE should be used while cleaning and hand hygiene should be practiced before and after removing PPE. Clean reusable PPEs with disinfectant. Sterilize then safely dispose of greywater or water from washing PPE, surfaces and floors.
- All surfaces in communal toilets, bathrooms, and showers should be cleaned with detergent and 0.5% sodium hypochlorite at least once a day.
Surface-based transmission can also be reduced by increasing handwashing facilities at these communal points and putting systems in place to regularly replenish the soap and water. Similarly, cleaning solid waste from areas and maintaining existing rubbish management systems are important, particularly since people will be needing to dispose of used PPE.
Want to learn more about COVID-19 programming in camps and camp-like settings?
- What are camps and camp-like settings and who resides in them?
- Why are populations in camps and camp-like settings more at risk from COVID-19?
- What actions should be implemented in camps and camp-like settings to reduce transmission of COVID-19?
- How can WASH programmes be adapted to reduce person-to-person transmission in camps or camp-like settings?
- What other COVID-19 preventative actions should be implemented to reduce person-to-person transmission in camps or camp-like settings?
- How can we encourage individuals with COVID-19 symptoms (and their contacts) to self-isolate and seek care as needed?
- What other resources are there on working in camps and camp-like settings?
Author: Lauren D’Mello Guyett
Last update: 18.9.2020