COVID-19 - Protocols for disinfecting kit and equipment, and washing clothing

What you should know

  • Commonly used cleaners and disinfectants are effective against COVID-19
  • Frequently touched surfaces are most likely to be contaminated
  • Health Canada has produced a List of hard-surface disinfectants for use against coronavirus (COVID-19). If an item is not on the list Health Canada has it may still be effective and your division's Occupational Safety Office can assist with this determination
  • Check the expiry date of products you use and always follow manufacturer's instructions
  • If you have been able to maintain recommended social distancing during an interaction, it is not necessary to disinfect your kit/clothing

Product characteristics


  • Break down grease and remove dirt from the surface
  • Use separately before using disinfectants. A surface needs to be clean to disinfect it properly
  • Sometimes combined with a disinfectant as a single product


  • Have chemicals that kill most germs
  • Applied after the surfaces have been cleaned
  • Have a drug identification number (DIN) and are approved by Health Canada

Disinfectant wipes:

  • Have combined cleaners and disinfectants in one solution
  • May become dry due to fast drying properties. Should be kept securely closed, and discarded if they become dry. Wipes must be wet to be effective
  • Not recommended for heavily soiled surfaces


  • Do not shake dirty laundry to minimize possibility of dispersing virus through the air
  • Wash with regular laundry soap and hot water, and dry well
  • Clothing and linens known/suspected to be contaminated can be washed with other laundry
  • Where duties permit, it is recommended that operational members change at their workplace, and carry uniform items to be washed in a plastic bag directly to the laundry
  • If you suspect that you have been exposed, remove the soiled uniform, wash appropriately, put on clean clothing, and disinfect equipment as required

Phones, remote controls, computers, and other handheld devices

  • Disinfect with an appropriate product by following the manufacturers instructions. If using a spray/liquid product, first apply to a paper towel, then disinfect the item. Do not spray, or pour, directly on any electronics

Duty belt, tools and boots

  • Don nitrile gloves and safety glasses
  • If significantly soiled, clean with mild detergent and warm water (e.g. household dish soap and water at 43 degrees C, 110 degrees F). Rinse off any residue and dry
  • Disinfect with an appropriate product by following the manufacturers instructions. Ensure the surface is wet from the wipe or spray, and allow to air dry. If using a spray/liquid product, first apply to a paper towel, then disinfect the item. Do not spray, or pour, directly on any items
  • Ensure tools/kit is maintained to previously learned standards. If the cleaning/disinfecting process has affected items (e.g. pistol requires oil) the employee is responsible to return them to a serviceable condition


Sterilization of equipment is unnecessary for this virus, and presents an unnecessary barrier to continued use.


  • If the SBA carrier becomes contaminated, remove the ballistic panels and launder in accordance with the previous instructions for uniforms

Wash your hands often

As the COVID-19 situation evolves one of the most effective ways to combat it will be to wash your hands often, this includes each time you remove gloves, and after contact with an ill person. Wash with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly dirty, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%-95% alcohol may be used. However, if hands are visibly dirty, always wash hands with soap and water.

In addition to hand washing, individuals should be avoiding touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands. Additional key times to clean hands include:

  • After blowing one's nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After using the restroom
  • Before eating or preparing food
  • After contact with animals or pets
  • Before and after providing routine care for another person who needs assistance (e.g., a child)


None of the procedures in this document require respiratory protection unless specified for use with a particular product.

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