Prevention measures, cleaning surfaces, disinfectants

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You should wash your hands:

  • before starting work;
  • before handling hot or cooked food;
  • after handling or cooking hot food;
  • after handling waste;
  • after cleaning up;
  • after using the toilet;
  • after blowing your nose, sneezing or coughing;
  • after eating, drinking or smoking;
  • after handling cash.

Last updated: 07.04.2020 12:15

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Yes. It is very important to wash hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before and after entering the store, as it protects both you and others. You also need to wash your hands before you start making food and also after the food is made.

Store your foods properly (avoid any contact between foods consumed raw and food requiring heat treatment), discard the outer packaging before storage (for example, a paper packaging, if there is also a plastic inner packaging), while taking note of important information such as the best before date. Fruit and vegetables must be washed regularly with clean water, especially if they are not heat-treated (COVID-19 does not survive heat treatment).

Food contamination should be avoided through kitchen utensils (knives, plates, etc.), wash your dishes carefully before coming into contact with different food items.

The instructions for heat treatment (time, temperature) should be followed for foods that are to be eaten after heat treatment.

The refrigerator and kitchen area should be cleaned thoroughly and more often than usual.

Last updated: 04.05.2020 12:30

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The Health Board recommends disinfecting the door handles, handrails, elevator buttons etc. of apartment buildings at least once a day. Viruses are destroyed by a disinfectant that contains at least 70% ethanol.

Hallways have to be cleaned with water and water-absorbent cloth because cleaning dust with a dry brush will not get rid of the virus. When cleaning it is important to use disposable gloves and easy-to-clean working clothes and footwear in order to protect yourself from chemical cleaning agents and contamination on surfaces.

If possible, the apartment associations could provide hand-sanitisers near entrances and lifts. You should, however, definitely remember to wash your hands thoroughly after coming home. You can find more recommendations from the guidelines of the Health Board (in Estonian).

Last updated: 29.04.2020 19:08

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If it is not possible to air the rooms, surfaces should be regularly cleaned with disinfectant. The corona virus does not spread through the ventilation system but mainly by a close contact with a person suspected to be infected who has symptoms characteristic to the disease, mainly a cough.

The precondition to the spread of the virus is close contact with the bodily fluids (blood, excrements, urine, spit, sperm) of an infected person. When a person infected with COVID-19 coughs, sneezes or speaks, droplets containing the virus end up in the air. These virus droplets are quite heavy and therefore do not travel very far in the air. According to what we have learned thus far they can travel 2 meters at the maximum. Because of their heaviness it is also not probable that air flow would make the droplets travel further from surfaces.

The life span of virus droplets on surfaces depends on the air temperature and average humidity of the surrounding environment. At room temperature, or 22-25 degrees and 40% relative humidity, the virus survives up to 4 or 5 days. The higher the temperature and relative humidity, the faster the virus is destroyed.

An effective way to destroy the corona virus from surfaces is using different biocides or antimicrobial solutions. One of the most common ones is ethanol. A solution containing 70% ethanol is adequate for cleaning surfaces of COVID-19 contamination.

Last updated: 01.04.2020 14:31

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No. In addition to alcohol there are other components that make the disinfectant effective, either slowing down the evaporation of the product from the surface or improving the surface wetting properties. This achieves the one minute contact time necessary for the antiviral effect. Ethanol alone might not kill the bacteria or the virus because it evaporates too quickly. Using ethanol as a disinfectant might reduce the activeness of the infectious agent but might also create an ethanol-resistant infection agent as a result. In sum it can be said that unregistered and non-verified disinfectants might not have actual disinfecting properties and thus might not protect their user.

Last updated: 04.04.2020 13:31

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In non-residential premises and social welfare institutions, the ventilation system must not be switched off even if the building is not in use.

The ventilation system must also operate at evenings and weekends at with either design capacity or normal daily regime (100%) or reduced capacity (at least 40%). The ventilation system operating with reduced capacity must be switched to the design capacity regime at least two hours before the building or part of the building will be used.

Circulating air ventilation systems are in use in storehouses and shopping centres. They must be fully switched onto the external air injection to avoid possible virus circulation through the ventilation system.

In other ventilation systems, the air injection and extraction settings must be reviewed so that the system sends the air exhaust out without recirculating it.

If the building does not have an air conditioning and ventilation system that guarantees suitable indoor climate, the rooms must be actively aired. This should be done at least once an hour and within 15 minutes before people arrive.

Room capacity-based circulating cooling or heating device (for example: fan-coil, split device) need to be switched off unless it is necessary to ensure a certain temperature in the room or when the device cannot be switched off.

In this case, continuous air flow through the device must be ensured. If the fan coil (heating device with a ventilator) is operational, the settings must be changed so that the fan would not turn off. This way the virus does not accumulate in the filter.

Last updated: 12.05.2020 20:12

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In order to prevent the coronavirus:

  1. Avoid close contacts.
  2. Follow safe food management practices
  3. Clean and disinfect surfaces,
  4. Ensure proper hygiene and
  5. Comply with normal cleaning and ventilation requirements.

To protect your employees, monitor their health status.

  • If possible, recommend that employees keep at least 2 metres distance from each other.
  • Minimise the exposure of employees belonging to risk groups to other employees.
  • In case of risk of infection, clean and disinfect the company premises to prevent the spread of the disease among employees.

Create plenty of opportunities for employees to disinfect and wash their hands.

  • Hands should be washed with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds and at least every 2 hours.
  • Hands should be washed and sanitised before and after the use of rubber gloves.
  • Disinfectants must be in a visible place and easily accessible for the employees.

Wash the working clothes (including textile gloves) after each shift, if possible

  • Wash the clothes at the highest temperature allowed for the fabric.
  • Clean the footwear after each shift.
  • Use disposable working clothes, if possible.

More information can be found on the website of the Agriculture and Food Board (January 1, 2021, the Veterinary and Food Board was merged with the Agriculture Board as Agriculture and Food Board).

Last updated: 05.01.2021 15:39

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After contact with animals, hands need to be washed with soap and water. Complying with elementary hygiene requirements also helps to protect from different regular bacteria, like E.coli and salmonella, that can transfer from animals to humans.

An employee of a meat processing company, a veterinary carrying out checks of animals and food in the market, a market employee and an employee working with live animals on a farm and processing animal products should, in addition to frequent hand washing, turn additional attention to the following:

  • Work clothing and gloves should be used when handling animals and fresh meat.
  • The equipment used and the work station should be regularly disinfected (at least once a day).
  • Protective clothing should be removed and washed at the end of work. It is recommended that the work clothes/protective clothes and other work equipment be kept at the place of work and washed on site.

More information on the web page of the Agriculture and and Food Board. (January 1, 2021, the Veterinary and Food Board was merged with Agriculture Board as Agriculture and Food Board).

Last updated: 05.01.2021 15:39

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The 2 + 2 rule means that up to two people can move around together, keeping a distance of at least two meters with others.

Starting from March 11, 2021, the 2 + 2 rule applies to all public indoor spaces and to staying and moving around in public outdoor spaces. A public indoor space is a space intended for public use that can be entered by anyone, regardless of, for example, a requirement to pre-register; it is a place where a lot of people move around who do not come into contact with each other on a daily basis. Public indoor spaces include, for example, a store, a shopping centre, public transport, an entertainment establishment, a bank office, a museum, an exhibition, a beauty and hairdressing salon, etc.

The 2 + 2 rule does not apply:

  • to families out together as a group,
  • to the employees of stores or shopping centres.
  • if these conditions cannot be reasonably applied.

Keeping a distance allows people to protect themselves and their loved ones from infection and limit the spread of the disease in Estonia.

Last updated: 12.03.2021 13:12

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More information about the coronavirus and restrictions related to it is available calling 1247 (from abroad +372 600 1247).