Safely dispose of waste – Covid

People who have fecal diversions and J-pouches may have questions about how to safely dispose of waste and/or their ostomy pouch if suspected of having or positive for COVID-19 . As of April, 23, the CDC released the statement that “the virus that causes COVID-19 has been found in the feces of some patients diagnosed with COVID-19. However, it is unclear whether the virus found in feces may be capable of causing COVID-19. There has not been any confirmed report of the virus spreading from feces to a person.” The World Health Organization released guidance on water, sanitation, hygiene and waste management for the Covidvirus and recommends that persons with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 disease “should be provided with their own toilet… and when possible, the toilet should be flushed with the lid down to prevent droplet splatter and aerosol clouds.” If a separate bathroom is not available, the CDC recommends the bathroom be cleaned and disinfected after each use by an ill person. If this is not possible, other residents in the home “should wait as long as practical after use by an ill person to clean and disinfect the high-touch surfaces.” Hightouch surfaces include the handle, lid and seat of the toilet, sink and faucets. The WHO states that “frequent and proper hand hygiene is one of the most important measures that can be used to prevent infection with the COVID-19 virus.” Follow proper hand hygiene after contact with fecal matter. Use soap and water for at least 20 seconds. See healthy hygiene practices for more details. Use disposable paper towels to dry hands. If paper towels aren’t available, use clean cloth towels and replace them frequently. If soap and water are not available to you, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. The WHO recommends any surfaces that become soiled with respiratory secretions (droplets from nose and mouth) or other body fluids should be cleaned with soap or detergent, and then disinfected with a regular household product containing a 0.5% diluted bleach solution. Wear personal protective equipment (PPE) such as a mask, gloves and a plastic apron to disinfect the bathroom. Again, after removing the mask, gloves and other protective equipment, wash hands as described above. For those providing self-care with ostomy pouch or appliance removal (no assistance from family or roommates): • No gloves are needed for self-care of ostomy pouch and appliance changes or when handling own body waste. • When removing an ostomy pouch, place into a small plastic bag, tie off the end, and place within a bagged garbage can with a lid. • Perform proper hand hygiene. If a caregiver assists with ostomy pouch or appliance removal: • The person with symptoms should wear a medical mask to contain respiratory secretions. The mask should be worn as long as possible and changed daily. • Caregivers should also wear a medical mask that covers their mouth and nose when in the same room as the one they are providing care for. Masks should not be touched or handled during use. • Use disposable gloves when handling stool, urine, and other waste. • Follow proper hand hygiene before and after removing gloves and the mask. • When the caregiver removes the trash containing waste, they should wear gloves and tie off the trash bag before disposing. • After disposal of trash, remove gloves and perform hand hygiene. • Any surfaces that become soiled with respiratory secretions or other body fluids should be cleaned with soap or detergent and then disinfected with a regular household product containing a 0.5% diluted bleach solution. Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation