As Coronavirus (also referred to as COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2) continues to spread, along with people’s fears and anxieties, you might be feeling the urge to give your house a deep clean. The Doctors share tips on how to best clean and why you should not worry about trying to scrub down your entire home.
Dr. Elizabeth Scott, professor of microbiology at Simmons Center for Hygiene and Health in Home and Community at Simmons University in Boston, recently told Apartment Therapy that “targeted hygiene” cleaning, where you focus on areas which are more likely to have viruses and bacteria. A preliminary study found that the coronavirus can live on surfaces like copper, cardboard, and plastic anywhere from hours to several days. “The risk is that someone unwittingly or unknowingly touches that surface, then they bring their hands to their face and infect themselves,” she explains.
These areas are dubbed common-touch or hand-contact surfaces and include things like:
- House keys
- TV remotes
- Electronics devices – especially your phone, laptop, tablet, and game controllers
- Faucet handles
She says these areas are more likely to contain harmful things when compared to things like walls, cabinets, or windows. She recommends if someone in your home is sick to consider cleaning (with gloves on if possible) these items and areas more than once a day if that person is touching them.
To clean these areas, it is recommended you use cleaning products like:
- Isopropyl alcohol (62 percent or higher)
- Bleach that has been diluted (5 tablespoons (⅓ cup) of bleach per gallon of water, or 4 teaspoons of bleach per quart of water)
- Disinfectant wipes
As a reminder, when it comes to personal care, the CDC notes the best way to prevent infection is to: wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not accessible, avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, minimize or avoid exposure to sick people, stay home if you are sick, cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then dispose of the tissue.
Stay informed on the latest information on the coronavirus from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization and learn about prevention methods and what to do if you are infected.
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