Last updated: 08-06-2020
This guidance is to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 and other seasonal diseases through exposure from the daily operation of EVMS fleet vehicles and golf and/or utility carts. By employing regular cleaning and disinfecting practices to our vehicles we can effectively minimize the transmission of these diseases while utilizing the vehicles.
Recent studies indicate bacteria and viruses, including COVID-19 (coronavirus), can live on surfaces in excess of 72 hours. This resiliency provides a source of contamination for the next operator or occupants in our vehicles. Surfaces including metal, plastic, glass and other hard surfaces harbor bacteria and viruses, and by touching these surfaces, employees can transfer pathogens to their eyes and mouth, or spread germs to other commonly-touched surfaces outside the vehicle that can lead to an illness.
Cleaning and disinfecting these surfaces with approved cleaners and disinfectants removes the vast majority of bacteria and viruses that can cause COVID-19 and other seasonal illnesses, thereby reducing the likelihood of transmission.
The cleaning and disinfecting procedures outlined below are the minimum requirements that all departments with EVMS vehicles and authorized drivers must follow. Some EVMS departments will have additional requirements for cleaning and disinfecting their vehicles and should implement these procedures when indicated.
- Cleaning: refers to the removal of germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. Cleaning does not kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection. Cleaning is typically performed using soap, detergents, cleansers and clean water before using a disinfectant.
- Disinfecting: refers to using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection. Disinfecting is typically performed using approved commercial or household disinfecting solutions.
EVMS will provide an approved disinfecting solution for use when cleaning any EVMS vehicles.
- Prior to use of any EVMS vehicle, a supervisor must administer a COVID-19 Vehicle Cleaning Protocol - Employee Screening Questionnaire to their employee(s) who will be using the vehicle.
- If an employee answers “Yes” to any of the questions, the employee may not drive the vehicle and must follow the EVMS/EVMS Medical Group Faculty, Residents and Staff Self-Monitoring Information for Employees Who have Symptoms.
- All employees are required to wash their hands prior to entering the vehicle and after leaving the vehicle.
- Washing with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds is most effective, however hand sanitizer is also an option (must be at least 60 per cent alcohol).
- Additionally, employees should wash their hands several times a shift, even if not operating a vehicles.
- At a minimum, employees must clean and disinfect the vehicle before and after every use of vehicle.
- Employees should maintain adequate ventilation when chemicals are in use.
- Doors and windows should remain open when cleaning the vehicle.
- Employees should wear disposable, nitrile gloves. Note: Wearing gloves will not stop transmission if you touch a potentially contaminated surface and then touch your face or other surface with the gloves on.
- Use a cleaning/disinfecting solution/cloth or an antibacterial wipe to wipe down the following commonly touched surfaces:
- Steering wheel
- Door Handles
- Seatbelt button
- Seatbelt clasp
- Radio and buttons
- Gear shiftersDoor locks
- Windshield controls
- Rear view and side mirror controls
- Window controls
- Arm/head rest
- Any other areas that are commonly touched
- Carefully dispose of cloth, and any additional cleaning equipment immediately after use. A small trash bag is included in the vehicle cleaning kit.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or an alcohol-based hand disinfectant (must be at least 60% alcohol).
- A separate COVID-19 Vehicle Cleaning Protocol - Disinfecting Checklist should be completed each shift for each employee who operates an EVMS vehicle.
- The completed checklists will be retained by the employee’s supervisor or designee.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
EVMS policy of mandatory face masks applies to any employee who operates an EVMS vehicle.
- If the employee is the only person in the vehicle, they may remove their face mask when the vehicle is in motion.
- The employee should wear their face mask upon entry or exit from the vehicle.
- Driver must wear eye protection (not just corrective glasses) prior to entering the vehicle with other riders.
Transporting Additional Occupants
It is recommended that employees limit the number of occupants in each vehicle. If your departmental duties require transporting additional individuals, the following guidance should be considered;
- Seat occupants as far away from each other as possible. Use the largest available vehicle (i.e., use a van instead of a car) to allow for as much social distancing as possible.
- If occupants cannot be seated at least 6 feet apart, each occupant must wear a facemask or cloth face covering.
- Once the occupant(s) have exited the vehicle, the EVMS driver must perform the vehicle cleaning/disinfecting as outlined above.