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Guidelines for Handling Regulated Medical Waste Contaminated With Coronavirus

Updated: Jul 30



If you are a healthcare worker involved with clinical laboratory procedures, you might be wondering how you need to adjust your daily work routine in light of news about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. Although COVID-19 is not a Category A Infectious substance, healthcare workers are on the front lines and have a higher risk of being infected. Healthcare workers should protect themselves with face shields, masks, gloves and gowns when dealing with patients who may have COVID-19.


So, how should you handle medical waste that is contaminated with Coronavirus? As one of the leading infectious waste disposal services in Montgomery County, Choice MedWaste is always up-to-date on the latest guidelines for handling medical waste. Let’s take a look.

2019-nCoV Guidelines for Waste Management Workers

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has stated that any waste contaminated with the Coronavirus should be handled no differently than other regulated medical waste. The Healthcare Waste Institute (HWI) advises medical waste workers to adhere to the following guidelines when managing 2019-nCoV materials:

  1. To ensure that red bags are leak-proof, use two bags and double-check that they are properly closed and tied with an overhand balloon knot before moving them.

  2. Always keep red bags in a sealed container with a secure lid.

  3. Make sure sharps containers are fully closed, placed in a bag, then placed in another container. Ideally, you should use disposable, single-use sharps containers.

  4. Ensure that containers comply with the Department of Transportation’s guidelines for regulated medical waste.

  5. You can have single-use containers treated at an authorized medical waste facility.

  6. Notify the hauler of any wastes that are contaminated with the Coronavirus. 

The OSHA is a division within the US Department of Labor that was formed by Congress in 1970 under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. The OSHA’s job is to ensure that all workers in the United States have safe, healthful working conditions — learn more about the OSHA and the OSH Act of 1970


Need Help Disposing of 2019-nCoV Contaminated Waste?

While the OSHA has emphasized that most workers in the US are not facing any significant risk of being infected by the Coronavirus, workers in the healthcare industry — especially clinical laboratory personnel — may be exposed to travelers who are infected with the virus. But medical workers have no reason for alarm if they continue following all of the regulatory guidelines for managing medical waste. For help managing biohazard waste disposal near Chester County and elsewhere in PA, contact Choice MedWaste Today!


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