What you should do with your garbage if at home with the coronavirus

Can people recovering at home with the coronavirus put out the trash? We took our question to Public Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci

Patients with coronavirus recovering at home should keep their waste inside for three days before putting it out for collection
Patients with coronavirus recovering at home should keep their waste inside for three days before putting it out for collection

The vast majority of people who have tested positive for the coronavirus are recovering at home because symptoms are not severe.

But this raises questions of what to do with that family’s domestic waste, which can potentially be contaminated.

Public Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci said these households should keep full garbage bags inside for three days before putting them out to be collected by waste collectors.

“We know that the virus lives on things for approximately 24 hours, sometimes more. The advice we give people who are positive is to keep the garbage bag inside for three days before putting it out to be collected since this will help ensure the virus on contaminated material degrades,” Gauci said.

The waste bag should be placed in a second bag to minimise the risk of rupture while being handled by waste collectors, she added.

Gauci said waste collectors were also advised to use protective gloves but insisted care must be taken by these people not to touch their face.

“It would be useless wearing gloves and then touching your face,” Gauci said.

The clarification comes on the day Malta registered 13 new cases, bringing the total of Covid-19 infections to 169.

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