Based on what is currently known about COVID-19 and similar viruses such as SARS and MERS, the spread of the virus occurs from person-to-person most frequently when they are in close contact with each other - within 6 feet or 1.8m. This is why the recommendation is for social distancing measures of 2 metres between people outside your 'bubble'. Transmission usually occurs between people through respiratory droplets containing the virus.
Transmission of COVID-19 from contaminated surfaces from an infected person has not been documented. It is widely regarded that transmission typically occurs through respiratory droplets.
How long can COVID-19 survive on different surfaces?
In a recent publication of a study by The Journal of Hospital Infections, titles "Persistence of cornaviruses on inanimate surfaces and their inactivation with biocidal agents", the new strains of coronaviruses, similar to SARS and MERS, it can survive on surfaces between 2 hours and 9 days.
In another study in 2011 called "Survival of Influenza A(H1N1) on Materials Found in Households: Implications for Infection Control", by Dr. Jane Greatorex at Public Health in England, the findings showed that that viruses remained infectiours twice as long, when they were on porous surfaces - such as plastic and metal, compared with porous surfaces such as clothing, wood... and carpet. Because carpet is porous, COVID-19 won't last as long on it as it does on non-porous surfaces.
How can you clean and disinfect carpet?
For soft surfaces, such as carpet, remove visible contamination if present, and clean with the recommended cleaners for such surfaces. To disinfect, diluted bleach solutions, alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol and most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective. SUPPLIER TAKES NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR CHEMICAL/CLEANER USED.
How to clean carpet surfaces if they have been exposed to COVID-19?
The only assured way of cleaning the carpet properly is to deep clean in. Some organisations have recommended that places where young children sit on carpets, touch their surroundings and subsequently touch their faces, steam cleaning and disinfecting the carpets can be one measure to take. The temperature required to kill the virus outside the body is 60°C. During a steam clean the temperature can get a lot hotter, often nearing boiling temperature of 100°C. This indicates that giving your carpet a steam clean, following correct procedures, will kill the virus in the areas directly cleaned. PLEASE CHECK CARE AND MAINTENANCE ON ALL PRODUCTS PRIOR TO STEAM CLEANING. CONTACT US IF UNSURE.
But please don't:
- Rub neat alcohol or methylated spirits, or vodka, into the carpet.
- Don't spray you carpet with chlorine bleach. This will strip the fiber colours and result in permanent discolouration.
- Do NOT soak the carpet with a solution. It might kill the bacteria, but if left un-dried, bacteria and fungi may infest.
The article is only generic advice. If you are unsure, contact your supplier.