Linda McCurdy, the new board president of the Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council (HLAC), recently provided details regarding the role laundry processing can play in minimizing transmission risk. "Per HLAC Standards, all soiled linen should be handled as if it is contaminated," McCurdy said.
She continued, "It is imperative that laundry facility staff follow universal precautions; ensure proper personal protective equipment (PPE) with eye protection and mucous membrane protection; enforce functional separation; and ensure that soiled textiles are properly bagged. I encourage facilities, including those on-site at hospitals and medical facilities, to remind their staff of the importance of following these standards and of their essential role in reducing the risk of an epidemic.”
Coronaviruses can easily be inactivated by commonly used disinfectants. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends routine cleaning and disinfection procedures that are in accordance with HLAC Standards. The CDC advocates a two-step process: washing surfaces with cleaners and water and then applying an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered, hospital-grade disinfectant to frequently touched surfaces or objects. The CDC also advises that management of laundry, food service utensils, and medical waste should be performed in accordance with routine procedures.
HLAC is a non-profit organization that provides inspection and accreditation of laundries processing healthcare textiles for hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare facilities. McCurdy's role as president became effective Jan. 1. She succeeds Bradley J. Bushman, who had been board president since 2017. She was named president-elect by HLAC's board of directors in November 2018.