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Update of the HCSP opinions issued during the Covid-19 health crisis concerning the management of healthcare waste

During the first year of the Covid-19 health crisis, the HCSP issued several notices on the management of healthcare waste, particularly in community settings, waste from incontinence pads for adults and waste from antigen tests, and on the protection of waste collection personnel, based on the knowledge available at the time of publication of these notices.

The HCSP updates these notices in the light of scientific knowledge on the modes and circumstances of transmission of SARS-CoV-2, in particular the persistence of the virus on contaminated surfaces, and epidemiological data, which led to the updating, in June 2022, of the definition of Covid-19 cases and contacts at risk, and to the adaptation, in July 2023, of epidemiological surveillance of Covid-19. The HCSP also draws on its notice of 1 June 2023 on new recommendations for sorting healthcare waste.

The HCSP recommends that healthcare and medico-social establishments, including nursing homes, which have a non-perforating infectious healthcare waste disposal channel, use this channel to dispose of non-perforating waste from infectious sites and waste heavily impregnated with secretions that are likely to leak, in approved packaging. The same waste and waste from positive Covid-19 screening tests are disposed of in a double bag (standard EN 13 592), via household waste, for social and medico-social establishments and care facilities which do not have a non-perforating infectious healthcare waste disposal channel. The HCSP recalls the procedures for handling municipal solid waste and the biological risk prevention measures for household waste collection staff.

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