The CDC says there is proof that disinfecting your home and workspace properly can help fight back against the flu and coronavirus. Community members can practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks) with household cleaners and EPA-registered disinfectants that are appropriate for the surface, following label instructions.
Household members should educate themselves about COVID-19 symptoms and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in homes.
Do: Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces daily in household common areas (e.g. tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, light switches, remotes, handles, desks, toilets, sinks)
Do: Wear disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. Gloves should be discarded after each cleaning. If reusable gloves are used, those gloves should be dedicated for cleaning and disinfection of surfaces for COVID-19 and should not be used for other purposes.
The easiest thing you can do both at home, in the office, or out in public is wash your hands. But you must wash your hands the correct way.
Do: Rub your hands together with soap for at least 20 seconds. Try singing ‘Happy Birthday’ or ‘The Alphabet Song’ while washing. Hitting this time mark is essential.
Do: Keep your hands pointing down, so dirty water won’t run into your sleeves
Do: Scrub every part of your hand, including the back of your hands and thumbs.
And remember, longer finger nails can harbor more bacteria than shorter nails.
“You really need to focus on your fingertips. A lot of people wash their palms, but if you think about what you touch the most, it’s your fingertips,” said Dr. Michael Chang, Infectious Disease Specialist at UTHealth/UT Physicians.
Don’t: Touch the faucet or sink. That will only contaminate your skin.
Don’t: Forget to fully dry your hands. Wet hands spread germs easier than when they are dry.
The CDC is now urging businesses to vigorously and routinely wipe down their workplace surfaces to contain the spread of any potentially deadly virus. Keeping the office germ free doesn’t just mean wiping everything down, but choosing what you clean with and how you clean carefully.
Do: Wipe down everything at your desk or in your office at least once a week to stop new germs from growing.
Do: Leave disinfectant sprays to rest on the surface for at least 10 seconds before wipe it down.
Do: Wipe everything down with a fresh wipe or cloth. That includes your mouse, keyboard, and entire desk chair.
Speaking of your keyboard, flip it over when you leave the office every day.
Don’t: Forget to use the one-way wipe method. You never want to wipe in one direction and go back over it in the opposite direction because you will deposit germs you just cleaned up.
Don’t: Dry a surface after using an antibacterial wipe. You have to let those air dry.
“I’ve sometimes seen people use the wipe and then wipe it off and again. That’s just not as effective. You need to let that air dry, so the disinfectant in the over-the-counter stuff will have enough time to kill the germs,” said Dr. Chang.
Remember, not all products will work in your home. Look at a bottle of Lysol, Purell or Clorox. You’ll see a claim that the contents can kill 99.9% of bacteria and viruses, including the coronavirus.
Those claims are true according to the Center for Biocide Chemistries. They’ve created a list of more than 100 ready to use, dilatable and wipeable biocidal products that the EPA has approved as effective at killing viruses like the coronavirus.
As a family, you can plan and make decisions now that will protect you and your family during a COVID-19 outbreak. Creating a household plan can help protect your health and the health of those you care about in the event of an outbreak of COVID-19 in your community. Use this checklist to help you take steps to plan and protect the health of you and your family.
ABC11.com/5973798/, March 2, 2020 Reprint Shared