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State of California—Health and Human Services Agency
California Department of Public Health

November 4, 2020

Any Business Generating PPE Waste

Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Medical Waste Management – Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

This Guidance is no longer in effect and is for historical purposes only.

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH), Medical Waste Management Program (MWMP) recognizes that not all PPE used in connection with COVID-19 testing, treatment, specimen handling, and cleaning is mandated to be managed as medical waste based on current Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. The facility/company shall determine the waste management procedures for PPE. This means that the generators are authorized to make the determination as to whether PPE should be disposed of as medical waste, or as solid waste.

If the facility determines that any PPE should be disposed of into the solid waste, used gloves, facemasks, coveralls, etc. should be placed in a lined container, preferably with a lid/cover. Tightly close off the bag before disposing the solid waste items into the solid waste bin for pickup by the solid waste management company.  CDC recommends that you clean your hands [with soap and water for 20 seconds (preferred) or alcohol-based hand sanitizer immediately after handling these items.

If the facility determines that the PPE is medical waste, follow the requirements of the California Medical Waste Management Act listed on the MWMP webpage. The MWMP can be contacted via email

General Guidance for Usage of PPE

According to the OSHA guidelines, measures for protecting workers from exposure to COVID-19 depend on the type of work being performed and the exposure risk. Employers should adapt infection control strategies based on a thorough hazard assessment, using appropriate combinations of engineering and administrative controls, safe work practices, and PPE to prevent worker exposures. Some OSHA standards that apply to preventing occupational exposure to COVID-19 also require employers to train workers on elements of infection prevention, including standard procedures for PPE. OSHA interim guidance for employers and their specific worker groups who may have potential exposures to COVID-19 are addressed on the OSHA control and prevention webpage.

The CDC has provided a chart for putting on and removing PPE: Sequence for Putting on Personal Protective Equipment (PDF). 

Additional guidance from CDPH, CDC and OSHA is listed below: