As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout New York State, it’s important to know how to properly clean your home, car, and groceries to help keep you and your family safe.
Melissa Bronstein, Director of Infection Prevention and Control and COVID-19 Task Force member for Rochester Regional Health, has created a list of her top cleaning tips and provided insight into how you can help reduce the spread of the coronavirus in your community.
Cleaning and disinfecting are terms that are often confused with one another, but they mean very different things.
Cleaning is the removal of germs and dirt from surfaces, but cleaning does not kill germs. It merely removes germs and lowers the risk of spreading infection.
Disinfecting is the process of using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. This doesn’t mean dirty surfaces are cleaned or germs are removed, but by killing germs on a cleaned surface, disinfecting lowers the risk of spreading infection even more.
“Wear disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting,” Bronstein said. “This will reduce the spread of germs from your hands to other areas of your house, car, or groceries.”
Generally, the most important areas to clean and disinfect are commonly touched surfaces such as tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, toilets, etc. These surfaces should be cleaned every day.
Cleaning and disinfecting techniques vary depending on the type of surface being cleaned.
Guidelines to follow:
Upon returning home from the grocery store, it’s a good idea to take extra measures to prevent the spread of illness into your household. Wash your hands before and after handling your groceries.
If you are concerned about potential contamination, cleaning and disinfecting your groceries can reduce the risk of germs spreading.
How to clean groceries:
If someone in your household is sick, do the best you can do designate one room and bathroom for their use only. If a separate bathroom is not an option, the bathroom should be cleaned and disinfected after each use by an ill person.
If they are too sick to clean, the caregiver should wait as long as possible before entering the bathroom and cleaning and disinfecting the high-touched surfaces.
Provide personal cleaning supplies for the sick person’s room and bathroom, unless they are a child or someone who should not handle cleaning products.
Supplies include paper towels, cleaners, EPA-registered household disinfectants, and tissues.
No matter how clean your household is, if your hands aren’t clean, you can get sick, Bronstein explains.
“One of the most common ways for COVID-19 to be spread is through hand-to-face transmission.”
When to wash your hands:
Wash your hands using soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub if soap and water aren’t available.Learn More COVID-19 Tips
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