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A blog from industry experts devoted to public health awareness, best practices, and the role of environmental cleaning and disinfection, to promote safer, healthier public spaces.

What is the Real Cost of a COVID-19 Virus Outbreak? January 8, 2021
CloroxPro CA

What is the Real Cost of a COVID-19 Virus Outbreak?

Infectious disease outbreaks at healthcare facilities are a major problem for healthcare institutions. The cost of containment and control of an outbreak can have a significant financial impact.1

A new culprit.

The most common microorganisms that cause outbreaks in healthcare facilities include influenza, norovirus, VRE, MRSA and C. difficile.2 Large hospitals tend to have several outbreaks per year caused by these microorganisms, and can cost thousands of dollars.2  For example, an analysis of a large Toronto hospital found that the actual cost of a 20-day outbreak of norovirus was $115,871, an eight-day outbreak of influenza A was $45,261 and an 18-day outbreak of VRE was $35,897.2

The global COVID-19 pandemic has introduced a new outbreak threat to healthcare facilities: the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This has created a need to rethink what outbreaks mean, to society in general, and particularly to healthcare facilities. Long term care facilities are particularly vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks. In Canada, there have been more than 840 outbreaks in LTC facilities and retirement homes, accounting for 18% of COVID-19 cases in Canada.3 The residents of these facilities are also more likely to suffer severe cases of COVID-19.3

More than 80% of COVID-19 related deaths in Canada were residents of LTC facilities.3

The impact of the COVID-19 virus.

In the past, influenza and norovirus outbreaks were the most common, and thus were the most impactful for healthcare facilities, at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars per outbreak.2,4 However, the cost of influenza outbreaks pales in comparison to the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.5-8

The cost impact has been higher and has affected every part of society, from government and healthcare, to small businesses and indeed, every individual.5-8 For example, in the healthcare sector, it is estimated that clearing the backlog caused by COVID-19 will require $1.3B in funding.9 This is in addition to the cost of treating COVID-19 patients in hospital (estimated at $1,129-$1,623 per patient) and the cost of containing any outbreaks that occur.8 This would amount to billions of dollars for Canadian healthcare facilties.8

Let’s talk about prevention.

It is estimated that a one-month economic lockdown would cost Canada $24B.8 In light of this, it is in the best interest of all businesses to avoid lockdowns implemented due to an outbreak of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.8 Therefore, it is necessary for all types of businesses to consider outbreak mitigation protocols.10

Adopting these new protocols and choosing the proper disinfection products/partners will be key to reducing the chances of an outbreak of the COVID-19 virus occuring.10

Prevention of outbreaks through proper disinfection is key.

Your prevention partners.

As your partner in disinfection, CloroxPro™ has an innovative, Health Canada-approved, best-in-class product portfolio. Our products have proven efficacy at killing all the common outbreak-causing microbes, including SARS-CoV-2.

These products are based on three chemistries: hydrogen peroxide, quaternary ammonium chloride (quat), and bleach to help meet your facility’s unique needs.

Kill the virus that causes COVID-19 in as little as 30 seconds with Clorox products.

Learn more about the Clorox products that kill SARS-CoV-2 at:


  1. Dik J-W H, et al. Cost-analysis of seven nosocomial outbreaks in an academic hospital. PLoS ONE 2016;11(2):e0149226.
  2. Rogers B, et al. Outbreak cost analysis: The development of a tracking mechanism to calculate the financial impact on unit-based outbreaks in an acute care facility. Infection Prevention and Control Canada. 2019 IPAC Canada Webinar: October 2019. Accessed November 26, 2020.
  3. Canadian Institute for Health Information. Pandemic Experience in the Long-Term Care Sector: How Does Canada Compare With Other Countries? Ottawa, ON: CIHI; 2020.
  4. Johnston C, et al. Outbreak management and implications of a nosocomial norovirus outbreak. Clin Infect Dis 2007;45(5):534-40.
  5. The Government of Canada. COVID-19: $962 million additional support fund now available to businesses and communities affected by the pandemic. Accessed November 26, 2020.
  6. Pagliaro J. ‘One of the greatest financial challenges this city has ever faced’: COVID-19 outbreak to cost Toronto at least $1.5 billion this year. Accessed November 26, 2020.
  7. Statistics Canada. StatCan COVID-19: Data to insights for a better Canada. Accessed November 26, 2020.
  8. Tremblay G. The economic impact of COVID-19 in Canada: A health economist’s perspective. Accessed November 26, 2020.
  9. Neustaeter B, Favaro A, St. Phillip E and Forani J. Clearing health care backlog caused by COVID-19 will require $1.3B in additional funding: CMA. . Accessed November 27, 2020.
  10. Public Health Agency of Canada. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Cleaning and disinfecting public spaces. Accessed November 26, 2020.