Rubbermaid Commercial Products is ready to assist distribution partners and commercial facilities in their efforts to promote and maintain a clean and safe environment.

Read the White Paper

What is Coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses first discovered in the 1960s and named for the crown-like spiked proteins found on their surface.1-2 Some coronaviruses are frequent causes of the “common cold,” while others, including the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) have led to severe respiratory illness and even death in some individuals.3 SARS-CoV-2 is thought to have originated in animals, but has since spread to and between humans.3

What We Know Thus Far: An Evolving Story


With each passing day, the number of confirmed cases continues to rise. As of March 12th, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that there have been 125,048 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in 117 countries, with the vast majority of cases occurring within China.4 Of the 4,613 COVID-19 associated deaths, 1,440 have been outside of China.4 The WHO and CDC have declared the outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 a global pandemic and are taking extreme precautionary measures to prevent furthering the spread of the illness.


Symptoms of the COVID-19 infection typically appear within 2 to 14 days of exposure. In most affected individuals, symptoms are respiratory in nature and include:6


The CDC acknowledges that “much is unknown about how SARS-CoV-2 spreads” and that “current knowledge is largely based on what is known about similar coronaviruses,” but evidence suggests transmission occurs primarily via respiratory droplets produced by an infected person coughing or sneezing.9 There are recent reports, however, that the virus can be spread even when the infected patient is symptom-free.9 Studies for COVID-19 have found that infected individuals were contagious anywhere from 8-37 days with the median being 20 days25, compared to the normal flu at less than 5 days. Combined with the evidence suggesting the virus can survive for extended periods of time on surfaces24, this prolonged contagion period underscores the importance of isolating infected patients and maintaining sustained levels of environmental hygiene (e.g. surface cleaning and disinfection) to prevent transmission. The WHO estimates that if proper containment measures aren’t taken, each new case of coronavirus could infect roughly 2.6 additional people.10


The CDC recommends everyday preventive actions for the general public to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses,15-16 including SARS-CoV-2, as well as more detailed guidance for healthcare personnel, including environmental services (EVS) staff.17 Among the key recommendations are:

How can Rubbermaid Commercial Products Assist with Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection?

RCP is committed to assisting commercial facilities maintain a clean environment.


Proper hand hygiene is critical in preventing the spread of illness.16-18 The Global Handwashing Partnership reports
that diarrhea and pneumonia are the leading causes of death for children under the age of five and that handwashing
alone can cut diarrheal and acute respiratory infections by roughly fifty and twenty five percent, respectively.18

Rubbermaid Commercial Products have not been tested against the newly-identified SARS-CoV-2. Our Enriched Foam Alcohol Sanitizer (SKU: 2080802), which has a 70% alcohol content, can be used in connection with the CDC’s Hand
Hygiene in Healthcare Settings Guidance and Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations. Additionally,
the freestanding Autofoam Hand Sanitizer Station (SKU: FG750824) can be used to ensure access to hand hygiene
supplies in all care locations as directed by the CDC.16


The CDC describes environmental cleaning as a “fundamental intervention for infection prevention and control.”19
While we await more definitive answers on the role of the environment and SARS-CoV-2, studies have shown that the human coronavirus strand can live on a surface for up to 9 days24, making it imperative to employ effective and practical strategies for optimal environmental cleaning and disinfection.

Microfiber cleaning products (e.g. cloths and mop pads) have been shown in a number of studies to achieve superior
surface cleaning compared to traditional cotton products.20-23 Microfiber products are not only more effective at
capturing and removing microbes from surfaces, but their use as part of a larger infection prevention and control
strategy has been associated with reductions in HAIs.20

Microfiber’s split fiber design creates a larger surface area for microbe removal.21 At the same time, the positive charge
of the microfiber attracts negatively-charged particles including dirt and microorganisms.22

Rubbermaid Commercial Cleaning products have not been tested against the newly identified 2019-nCoV. Our HYGEN™ Disposable Microfiber Cloths, HYGEN™ Disposable Microfiber Mop Pads, launderable HYGEN™ Microfiber Cloths, and launderable HYGEN™ Microfiber Wet Pads have been shown to remove 99.9% of certain microbes when used with water alone*, but we do not have test data to indicate how they will perform against SARS-CoV-2. Our HYGEN microfiber cloths and mop pads provide effective microfiber cleaning with built-in scrubbing power. HYGEN disposable microfiber cloths and mop pads are quat safe and bleach safe. Importantly, our disposable microfiber products are manufactured in the United States and our launderable microfiber products are manufactured in Vietnam, so there are no anticipated shipping delays.


Additionally, our Step-On Container serves as a safe, “no touch receptacle for disposal” of soiled tissues and other
potentially contaminated items. This is a measure referenced in the "Minimize Chance for Exposures" section of the
CDC’s Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for SARS-CoV-2.17 By eliminating the need for manual
operation, the Step-On Container helps mitigate the potential cross-contamination that could occur when multiple
hands open and close a waste receptacle.17 Importantly, all of these products are manufactured in the United States,
so there are no anticipated shipping delays.

Rubbermaid Commercial Products is ready to assist distribution partners and commercial facilities in their efforts to
promote and maintain a clean and safe environment.

*Based on third party testing with water only. The product can be used with a wide array of cleaning solutions. EPA EST. 90650-NC-001



1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Coronavirus. 2020. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/types.html Accessed 3 February 2020.
2. Li F. Structure, Function, and Evolution of Coronavirus Spike Proteins. Annu Rev Virol 2016; 3(1): 237-61.
3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Situation Summary. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html. Accessed 3 February 2020.
4. World Health Organization. Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) situation reports. Situation report-24. Available from: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports Accessed 12 March 2020.
5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Influenza: Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/index.htm Accessed 3 February 2020.
6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2019 Novel Coronavirus: Symptoms. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/symptoms.html Accessed 3 February 2020. 9. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2019 Novel Coronavirus: How 2019-nCoV Spreads. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/transmission.html Accessed 3 February 2020.
10. Imperial College London. MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis. Report 3: Transmissibility of 2019-nCoV. Available from: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/mrc-global-infectious-disease-analysis/news--wuhan-coronavirus/ Accessed 1 February 2020. 15. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2019 Novel Coronavirus: Prevention and Treatment. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html Accessed 3 February 2020.
16. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Handwashing: when and how to wash your hands. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/when-how-handwashing.html Accessed 7 February 2020.
17. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2019 Novel Coronavirus: Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with Known or Patients Under Investigation for 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in a Healthcare Setting. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/hcp/infection-control.html
18. Global Handwashing Partnership. Why Handwashing? Available from: https://globalhandwashing.org/about-handwashing/why-handwashing/Accessed 7 February 2020.
19. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Best practices for environmental cleaning in healthcare facilities in resource-limited settings. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/hai/pdfs/resource-limited/environmental-cleaning-508.pdf Accessed 7 February 2020
20. Lister DM, Kotsanas D, Ballards SA, Howden BP, Carse E, Tan K, et al. Outbreak of vanB vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium colonization in a neonatal service. Am J Infect Control 2015; 43: 1061-5.
21. Trajtman AN, Manickam K, Alfa MJ. Microfiber cloths reduce the transfer of Clostridium difficile spores to environmental surfaces compared with cotton cloths. Am J Infect Control 2015; 43: 686-9.
22. Rutala WA, Gergen MF, Weber DJ. Microbiologic evaluation of microfiber mops for surface disinfection. Am J Infect Control 2007; 35: 569-73.
23. Gillespie E, Brown R, Treagus D, James A, Jackson C. Improving operating room cleaning results with microfiber and steam technology. Am J Infect Control 2016; 44: 120-2.
24. Persistence of coronaviruses on inanimate surfaces and their inactivation with biocidal agents Kampf, G. et al. Journal of Hospital Infection, Volume 104, Issue 3, 246 – 251
25. Zhou F, Yu T, Du R, et al. Clinical course and risk factors for mortality of adult inpatients with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China: a retrospective cohort study. The Lancet 2020; published online March 11. DOI:10.1016/s0140-6736(20)30566-3