CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — The state agency that oversees workplace safety is relaxing guidelines for businesses, allowing them to wipe down most surfaces with soap or detergent, rather than disinfectants that kill the coronavirus.
“When no people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 are known to have been in a space, cleaning once a day is usually enough to sufficiently remove viruses that may be on surfaces and help maintain a healthy facility,” according to guidance published Thursday by Nevada’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Businesses should evaluate whether to continue using disinfectants that kill viruses on high-traffic or high-touch surfaces, the guidance said.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration officials also announced they plan to align workplace requirements for health care facilities with the federal guidelines released earlier in the week. The federal Coronavirus Emergency Temporary Standard requires health care workplaces to adopt COVID-19 prevention plans that address vaccinations and screenings for patients and staff.
The updated guidelines come as infection rates remain low but are experiencing a slight uptick. More than half of Nevada’s 12 and older population has been vaccinated. State health officials reported 448 new coronavirus cases and 10 deaths on Thursday. The figures are both the highest in weeks.
An estimated 19% of the new cases could be from the delta variant, state health officials told the Las Vegas Review Journal last week. On Wednesday, Washoe County reported 17 cases of the delta variant from three “clusters” at two workplaces and one elementary school.
State officials continue to urge residents to get vaccinated to contain the spread of the virus. Gov. Steve Sisolak wrote on Twitter on Wednesday that none of the 293 patients hospitalized for coronavirus throughout the state had been vaccinated.