Posted on June 25, 2020
Category: Causes and Prevention
Right now, we’re encouraged to self-quarantine and social distance as much as possible. This typically means that we’re supposed to hunker down and stay home for as long as we can. However, for most people, that’s just not possible.
We get it. Staying inside all day can take a toll. In fact, staying inside for too long can negatively affect your health and wellbeing. We need sunlight, and we need to move around. Leaving your house might feel like your one victory for the day, and that’s not a bad thing.
While getting out of the house can be a rejuvenating experience, it also increases the likelihood of bringing viruses and bacteria into your home. Unwanted germs, viruses and bacteria are an invisible threat, and you can never be too sure if you’ve been exposed or not. During these times, we can’t take any risks.
Here are 5 tips on how to better sanitize yourself and your home against viruses and bacteria.
- Disinfect Everything!
You never know what’s lurking around and research suggests that the coronavirus is able to live on surfaces for days. That being said, it becomes extremely important to disinfect and sanitize. Areas that are highly touched and appliances that are frequently used are prime spots to disinfect. Everyone utilizes their home differently, but commonly used surfaces include:
- Door handles
- Light switches
- Household appliances
- Kitchen counters
When in doubt clean it out. Use your best judgement and always clean heavily used surfaces many times a day even if it’s not listed here.
- Use the Appropriate Products
Before you clean and disinfect, be sure you’re using the appropriate products. Visit the EPA for information on disinfectants… and for the approved product list that fights SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Here are some extra tips for cleaning products. Use the following, where applicable:
- Products with 70-90 percent of alcohol
- Wipes with label kill 99.9 percent germs
- Isopropyl alcohol/ rubbing alcohol (warning it is flammable)
- Hydrogen peroxide (do not mix with vinegar)
- Sodium hypochlorite (mix only with water)
- Clean & Disinfect Properly
Clean and disinfect surfaces whenever new people or objects, such as groceries, enter your home. For places that cannot be cleaned with disinfectant sprays and wipes, always clean with soap and water. If surfaces are dirty or have had the potential of being dirty, they should be cleaned first, using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
According to the CDC, diluted household bleach solutions (at least 1000ppm sodium hypochlorite) can be used if appropriate for the surface. You’ll want to always follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and ensuring a contact time of at least 1 minute with proper ventilation during and after application.
Cellphones and mobile devices in particular are germ magnets. For cleaning touchscreens, cell phones and other mobile devices, follow their manufacturer guidelines. If there aren’t any guidelines mentioned, consider using wipes and sprays containing at least 70% alcohol to disinfect. And always be sure to dry wet surfaces thoroughly to avoid pools of liquid. Excess liquid might damage your device, so be careful.
Be sure to wear disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. Gloves should always be discarded after each cleaning. If reusable gloves are used, those gloves should be dedicated for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces for COVID-19 and shouldn’t be used for any other purposes. After using either disposable or reusable gloves, wash your hands immediately after the gloves are removed.
- Prevent the Spread
One of the best ways of keep you and your family safe from viruses is through prevention. Plan your visits before heading out the door. Make grocery lists and plan the logistics of your stop. This makes sure you don’t waste any time while out in public. Now is not the time for window or impulse shopping.
Part of prevention includes sanitizing yourself. Be sure to wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds and use hand sanitizer with at least 70% alcohol if you are unable to wash your hands. It’s also important to always wash your hands before eating and preparing food. Not only is it good hygiene to practice, it’s going to help keep you safe from unnecessary germs, bacteria and viruses. Always wear masks and gloves in public, and don’t touch questionable surfaces like gas pumps, door handles and shopping carts without wiping them down or without wearing gloves.
[Embedded video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Qicvtdr-Zw]
- Some Final Tips
Grocery shopping is one of the main reasons we need to leave our house during self-isolation. And getting COVID-19 is no joke. Being in an enclosed area with many shoppers can be an anxious time. Follow the FDA’s tips, and watch this video for an in-depth look at grocery shopping responsibly.
Leave your house, go grocery shopping, go for a jog… but it’s important you make sure you properly sanitize yourself and your home after you come back. Whether it be COVID-19 symptoms or the seasonal flu, seek professional help at Sioux Falls Specialty Hospital Urgent Care.