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CDC study finds shoes spreading COVID-19 in hospitals; shoe hygiene tips to stop that spread

Image courtesy of Kaivac.

A study published in April 2020 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that healthcare professionals working in one of Wuhan, China’s intensive care units carried the COVID-19 virus on the soles of their shoes. The report also found that the floors of the hospital’s pharmacy were 100 percent contaminated with the virus. In this hospital, virtually all healthcare workers traveled into the pharmacy.

 “Therefore, the soles of medical staff shoes might function as carriers,” the researchers wrote. “We highly recommend that persons disinfect shoe soles before walking out of wards containing COVID-19 patients.”  

This advice should be heeded by cleaning professionals as well. Matt Morrison, communications manager at Kaivac, which produces science-based cleaning systems, offered some work shoe “best practices” cleaning professionals should follow: ·       

  • Have one pair of shoes to wear just for work; remove them at the end of the shift.  ·      
  •  If leather shoes are worn, clean them each night using dish detergent and water and then spray and wipe clean with a disinfectant. ·       
  • Wear shoes made of fabric because they can be washed in a washing machine, making the cleaning process easier. ·      
  •  Wear shoe covers. This way, only the shoe cover will need to be cleaned or washed. ·       
  • Thoroughly wash hands after removing work shoes and before putting on another pair of shoes.

As to floors, Morrison says floors have always been reservoirs of pathogens, “but now those pathogens can be deadly.”  Because we know floor mopping can spread contamination, “it’s more imperative now than ever before that we select floor cleaning alternatives. Mops should not be used.”