Can you catch the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) from food? How should I do laundry now? Mundane household tasks have turned into a source of uncertainty and anxiety as families grapple with getting the basics done all while keeping their loved ones safe and healthy. Widespread misinformation about the virus puts everyone at risk and adds to the stress of having to filter fact from fiction.
While research into the COVID-19 virus is ongoing, we know the virus is transmitted through direct contact with respiratory droplets of an infected person (through coughing and sneezing), and touching surfaces contaminated with the virus. The virus may survive on surfaces for a few hours up to several days. The good news? Simple disinfectants can kill it. Now, what does this mean for your home?
To give parents a helping hand, we compiled the latest expert information on what is known about COVID-19 and tips to help keep it out of your home.
Simple hygiene measures can help protect your family’s health and everyone else’s.
Don’t touch your face
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Don’t cough or sneeze into your hands
Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing. Dispose of used tissue immediately.
Keep your distance
Maintain a distance of at least 1 meter (3 feet) from people who are coughing or sneezing.
Wash, wash, wash your hands
Yes, you’re hearing it everywhere, because it’s the best line of defense. Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20-30 seconds.
An easy way to time it with your children is by singing the full happy birthday song, twice.
Make sure to wash hands after you blow your nose, sneeze into a tissue, use the restroom, when you leave, and return to your home, before preparing or eating food, applying make-up, handling contact lenses, etc.
If using a hand sanitizer ensure that it contains at least 60 percent alcohol, ensure coverage on all parts of the hands, and rub hands together for 20-30 seconds until hands feel dry. If hands are visibly dirty, always wash hands with soap and water.
Did you know? Coldwater and warm water are equally effective at killing germs and viruses as long as you use soap and wash your hands the right way!
Cleaning around the home
Cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces in your home regularly is an important precaution to lower the risk of infection.
Follow cleaning product instructions for safe and effective use, including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation.
Some national authorities have made lists of recommended products for use against the COVID-19 virus.
High-touch surfaces to clean and disinfect
Every home is different, but common high-touch surfaces include Door handles, tables, chairs, handrails, kitchen and bathroom surfaces, taps, toilets, light switches, mobile phones, computers, tablets, keyboards, remote controls, game controllers and favorite toys.
What to use to clean and disinfect
If a surface is dirty, first clean it with soap or detergent and water. Then use a disinfectant product containing alcohol (of around 70 percent) or bleach. Vinegar and other natural products are not recommended.
In many places, it can be difficult to find disinfectant sprays and wipes. In such cases, continue to clean with soap and water. Diluted household bleach solutions may also be used on some surfaces.
How to disinfect
It’s important not to wipe cleaning solutions off as soon as you’ve applied it to a surface. Many disinfectant products, such as wipes and sprays, need to stay wet on a surface for several minutes in order to be effective. Always read the directions to make sure you’re using the products as recommended and to avoid damaging sensitive items such as mobile phones and other electronic devices. Consider using wipeable covers for electronics.