Current evidence suggests that novel coronavirus may remain viable for hours or days on a variety of surfaces. Cleaning followed by disinfection is recommended by the CDC as a best practice measure for prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in households and community settings.
At this time, there is no link between reusable bags and COVID-19. Reusable bags are not considered a significant risk factor in the pread of COVID-19 and as such do not need to be banned from stores.
CLEANING AND DISINFECTING PLASTIC AND NYLON BAGS
Clean inside and outside of the bag with soapy water and rinse.
Spray or wipe down the bags inside and out with diluted bleach solution (see below) or recommended disinfectant.
Allow bags to air dry completely before storing and using.
CDC recommends diluted household bleach solutions, alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol, and compounds on the EPA-recommended list, found here: go.ncsu.edu/epacovid-19
CLEANING CLOTH BAGS
Wash in warm water with normal laundry detergent.
Dry on the warmest setting possible.
See CDC guidelines on laundry: go.ncsu.edu/cdclaundry
Follow manufacturer's label instructions for application and proper ventilation.
Prepare a bleach solution by mixing:
5 tablespoons (1/3 cup) bleach per gallon of water
4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water
Use containers of bleach that have been open no longer than 30 days, as bleach can break down over time.
It is always a good practice to clean and disinfect shopping bags after each use, nd to pay extra attention to bags used to carry raw animal products.
For more info, visit: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov
Updated March 27, 2020