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Keeping COVID-19 Out of Your Home

March 30, 2020

With many of us spending more time at home because of COVID-19 — the disease caused by the new strain of coronavirus — the need to keep our living spaces germ-free becomes even more important. 

There are several things we can do to protect ourselves and our families from COVID-19 while we’re at home. To make sure your living spaces are both disinfected and as safe from outside germs as you can make them, follow these tips and recommendations.

Some Precautionary Measures

  • Hands carry many things, including germs. Wash your hands properly – and often – with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If you don’t have access to soap and water, use a hand sanitizer that contains greater than 60% alcohol. Rub your hands until they are dry.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth at all times. These are places  where germs can enter your body.

  • Stay home if you don’t feel well. Don’t pass your illness on to others. 

  • Remember good respiratory etiquette. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing and sneezing, then throw it away in the nearest trash can. Be sure to clean your hands afterward.

  • If someone in your household is sick, the best way to keep everyone else safe is to give the sick person a separate bedroom and bathroom, if possible.

Keep Your Spaces Clean

  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects (such as tables, countertops, light switches, faucets, doorknobs and refrigerator handles) with household cleaners that are appropriate for the surface, following label instructions.  

  • Avoid sharing drinks, food and silverware.

  • Clean your cell phone with a lint-free cloth dampened with a disinfectant recommended for your phone. 

  • Regularly disinfect shared home electronics, such as computer keyboards and mice, landline phones and remote controls.

  • Clean your bathrooms, paying close attention to all surfaces (toilet, shower and sink).

  • If you share a bathroom with others, clean and disinfect it after each use by an ill person.

  • Keep toothbrushes separate from each other and store at least 3 to 6 feet from the toilet. Close toilet lids before flushing to minimize the spread of germs.

  • Regularly wash hand towels and don’t share them with an ill person.

Take Care of What You Wear

If you work in an essential business that remains open during the COVID-19 outbreak and you have frequent contact with the public throughout the day, you run the risk of carrying home germs on your clothing. To protect your household:

  • Change your clothes and shoes before leaving work or as soon as you arrive home. 

  • If you can’t change your shoes, clean them before entering your home or remove them and leave them at the door. If possible, set aside a pair of shoes for work use only.

  • Place work clothing directly into your washing machine. Wash separately from your regular household laundry.

  • Wash clothing using detergent and hot water, if possible. If you can’t use hot water, be sure to use adequate laundry detergent.

  • After washing work clothing, run an empty load with bleach as an added precaution.

  •  Disinfect your laundry hamper/basket after use.

  • Shower as soon as you get home. Pay special attention to washing your face and hands.

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