Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19): Webinar Recordings and FAQ
Given the high levels of demand, the useful information shared, and the positive reception received, recordings of all Coronavirus webinars hosted by Stericycle are being made available for anyone to view. We encourage all professionals in medical waste management, hospital administrators, healthcare providers and laboratories from across North America to access the webinars and the useful information provided.
"COVID-19: The Pandemic in 2021" was hosted on February 17th. In this webinar, Cara Simaga, Director of Regulatory Affairs, and Richard Best, Director of Regulatory Affairs, discussed regulatory changes as a result of COVID-19 and best practices for handling waste from immunization efforts.
"COVID-19: The New Normal" was hosted on July 29th. In this webinar, our experts discussed best practices for handling regulated medical waste, how organizations are adopting a new normal, and what to consider in regards to non-healthcare waste such as personal protective equipment (PPE).
"COVID-19: Compliance for Waste Generators" was hosted on May 20th in partnership with Waste 360. In this webinar, Selin Hoboy, Stericycle's VP of Regulatory Affairs and Compliance, provided an update on the COVID-19 situation and Stericycle’s waste management plan. Learn also about personal protective equipment (PPE) and how workplaces will have to adapt as a result of the global pandemic.
"COVID-19: Best Practices for Medical Waste Disposal" was hosted on April 29th. In this webinar, our experts discussed what is considered medical waste and if all medical waste is regulated. This included how different states approach regulating this waste and best practices for handling medical waste during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Coronavirus Waste Management: Facts not Fear" was hosted on March 25th. In this webinar, our experts discussed guidance on managing COVID-19 waste streams, key points from relevant agencies and trusted experts, and Stericycle's COVID-19 waste management overview.
Listed below are frequently asked questions:
We are regularly reviewing regulations and new guidance and will continue to update our COVID-19 Knowledge Center with new developments, including any new guidance on shipping papers/manifests.
Please see the "Service Safety Measures" section of our COVID-19 Knowledge Center to learn about procedures Stericycle is taking to ensure employees that may feel unwell are not servicing your site.
While there are a variety of treatment methods for the management of regulated medical waste, the two most common methods are autoclaving and incineration. Regulated medical waste generated in the care of a patient with COVID-19 can continue to be treated via either method. Incineration is not required, unless the waste needs to be managed by incineration due to regulation or Stericycle policy (pathological waste, trace chemotherapy waste, non-hazardous waste pharmaceuticals).
Regulated medical waste generated in the home is not regulated, even if generated in the care of a COVID-19 patient. This waste should be bagged by the resident and placed in the trash. However, when home care workers visit homes to provide care, some states require these providors to manage any regulated medical that is generated as they would in a healthcare setting. Check your state regulations for for further information on this topic.
There is no additional biohazardous waste produced from a decedent of COVID-19 versus a decedent who had died of other causes. Continue to handle medical waste in accordance with standard policy. Check your state regulations, as some states are considering personal protective equipment (PPE) from COVID-19 as regulated medical waste.
Regulated medical waste associated with clinical testing for COVID-19 should be managed the same way that all other biohazardous lab waste is managed. Please see CDC guidance for further information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/lab/biosafety-faqs.html . Hazardous waste chemicals, reagents, and compounding chemicals should be managed through a hazardous waste vendor.
Pharmaceutical wastes generated in the care of COVID-19 patients should be managed the same way they are today, as hazardous or non-hazardous waste, depending on the pharmaceutical being disposed.
Healthcare related waste from treatment, testing, or care of known or suspected COVID-19 infected patients) may include waste items such as used PPE, clean-up rags and wipes, and other debris. When these items are contaminated with blood, bodily fluids, and/or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM), they should be managed as regulated medical waste. As the waste generator, you should review your state regulations that define regulated medical waste to confirm your state's definition. Additionally, some states have published specific guidance on management of various COVID-19 wastes and include specific information on whether certain waste types should be managed as solid waste or regulated medical waste.
Healthcare related waste from treatment, testing, or care of known (or suspected COVID-19 infected patients) may include waste items such as used PPE, clean-up rags and wipes and other debris. When these items are contaminated with blood, bodily fluids, and/or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM), they should be managed as regulated medical waste. As the waste generator, you should review your state regulations that define regulated medical waste to confirm your state's definition. Additionally, some states have published specific guidance on management of various COVID-19 wastes and include specific information on whether certain waste types should be managed as solid waste or regulated medical waste.
Wastes that are generated from the care of a COVID-19 pateint that are are not contaminated with blood or other bodily fluids, such as food, drink cups, and plates, do not need to be disposed as reglated medical waste. Even though the patient is in an isolation room, these wastes can be disposed as solid waste.
If you will be doing testing that generates regulated medical watse, or, you want all waste and PPE to be managed as regulated medical waste, please reach out to your local sales representative or call …..
As the shipper of regulated medical waste, which is a hazardous material per the DOT, it is the responsibility of the generator to properly classify and package their waste for transport. Our drivers are trained to inspect containers and address any concerns with the customer so that the customer can work to resolve any issues that would inhibit pickup. However, if no one is available at that time, or the issue is unable to be resolved, the driver must leave the container behind.
Waste, that is clearly not regulated medical waste or sharps, generated from the decontamination of areas where a known or suspected COVID-19 infected individual was present, such as PPE, clean-up rags, wipes, and other debris with a non-hazardous chemical disinfectant can be managed as solid waste. Some generators are over-classifying all waste from decontamination activities and managing as RMW. Please note that any cleaning products that remain in the waste stream would need to be evaluated to ensure they are not also a hazardous waste. Also, as regulatory guidance is changing rapidly, please check your state COVID-19 page to be sure they have not provided any further information.
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