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Coronavirus Testing and Waste Disposal

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Coronavirus Testing and Infectious Waste Disposal

Initial Medical is supporting UK businesses with the collection and disposal of waste associated with the Coronavirus pandemic. This includes infectious waste which may be contaminated or potentially contaminated with Coronavirus and waste from nationwide testing and vaccinations programmes.

Keeping our customers compliant with the complex legislation surrounding clinical and chemical waste is key to our operations. As experts in the collection and disposal of healthcare and infectious waste, we adhere to all NHS and legislative guidelines.

The UK Government announcement in January, introducing mass lateral flow testing within businesses, shifted the emphasis of Coronavirus testing onto asymptomatic individuals. We are here to support you with the changes to your waste management brought about by these new tests. 

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Correct Coronavirus waste management

Under the NHS England 'COVID-19 waste management standard operation procedure', any waste generated from a possible or a confirmed case of Coronavirus must be disposed of as Category B waste. 

This is identified as orange-stream infectious waste, which is known or suspected to contain pathogens in Category B and is disposable by alternative treatment. 

Any infectious waste produced, including gloves, aprons, overalls, face masks, paper towels and swabs, should be disposed of into UN3291 orange clinical waste bags and handled accordingly. There is currently no requirement to double-bag waste produced.

Coronavirus vaccination and testing sites

We are supporting Coronavirus vaccination and testing sites with their assembly, ongoing clinical waste management and routine specialist disinfection services

With potential large volumes of visitors to these sites, the risk for cross-infection could be high. To reduce these risks, ensure that you have hand sanitisers available for both staff and visitors. 

Maintaining good waste segregation at these sites is vital. Initial Medical's expert consultants will be able to guide you through these requirements. You must dispose of any infectious clinical waste generated into the orange waste stream. However, items such as non-infectious PPE should be disposed of into the black and yellow offensive waste stream.

What waste provisions do you need to consider?

Vaccination sites

Vaccination sites will require waste disposal of any generated PPE waste. In addition, needles used for Coronavirus vaccinations are considered highly infectious sharps waste and therefore must be disposed of into yellow sharps bins.

Testing sites

You may require different waste streams, dependent on the type of Coronavirus test you are implementing. When finger prick testing, you will require a hazardous orange sharps container for used needles. When conducting lateral flow tests, clear bags will be required for disposal as chemical waste.

Clinical waste bag tie poster download

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