Bleach is a friend: Oregon schools using ‘inappropriate’ cleaning products as norovirus spreads

When someone barfs, especially in a closed area like a daycare or school or other facilities, it’s crucial the vomit be cleaned up quickly to limit the spread of aerosolized viral particles.

And to use the right chemicals.

The Douglas County Health Department says the recent outbreaks that shut down Fir Grove in Roseburg and the entire Oakland School District were both identified as norovirus.

According to Caroline Regan, Douglas County Environmental Health Specialist, the results of testing so far indicate that the Oakland outbreak was found more in students who ate in the cafeteria. That facility is shared by all three Oakland Schools.

In a release sent out Monday afternoon, authorities say that at both schools, “inappropriate” cleaning supplies were used.  They say that the products used were not able to disinfect norovirus.

The schools have implemented new products that are bleach based and will kill the virus.

Bathrooms and other surfaces potentially contaminated with vomit or stool should be disinfected with a 5000 ppm bleach solution (1:10 dilution of household bleach).

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About Douglas Powell

A former professor of food safety and the publisher of, Powell is passionate about food, has five daughters, and is an OK goaltender in pickup hockey. Download Doug’s CV here. Dr. Douglas Powell editor, retired professor, food safety 3/289 Annerley Rd Annerley, Queensland 4103 61478222221 I am based in Brisbane, Australia, 15 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time