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Avoid Bringing Disease Into The Home

woman wearing pink gloves holding laundry basket full of clothes

Many of us have heard about tips and tricks to disinfect our homes during disease outbreaks, which is a fairly easy task when everyone in your household is observing a self-quarantine. But what happens when a member of your household is considered part of the essential workforce and is required to work outside of the home?

Try these steps to lessen the chances of bringing the sickness home and putting your family at risk.

Your Vehicle

Avoid public transportation if possible. If you have a personal vehicle, use it instead. Each time you get in your car after being in the public, sanitize your hands. Even though hand-washing is the best protection, in the absence of a sink, disinfecting hand wipes or hand sanitizer can be used. Follow up with hand-washing as soon as possible.

It also is a good idea to wipe down the most-touched surfaces, like door handles (inside and out), steering wheel, gear shift, center console and radio controls – and don’t forget your keys.

When fueling up, use the paper towels provided at the pump to grab the nozzle and touch the controls. If no paper towels are provided, remember to disinfect your hands when you return to your car.

Your Cell Phone

Clean your cell phone regularly. Besides your face, your cell phone is one thing that you touch often. First, turn your cell phone off and unplug it from the charger. Remove your phone from its protective case. Using an absorbent and disposable cloth (like a paper towel or makeup remover pad), wipe your phone down thoroughly with a mixture of 60% water and 40% alcohol. Make sure to be careful around any openings (charging port, etc.) so that you do not get any liquid inside your phone. Wipe down the phone’s protective case in the same manner. Let them dry. Keep your phone clean by keeping it inside a pocket or purse whenever possible.

Avoid using cleansers that will damage your phone’s screen coating. These include acids, like vinegar, and strong cleaners, like hydrogen peroxide and window cleaner.

When you Get Home

As soon as you get home, remove your shoes and leave them outside, in the garage or in a mudroom if possible. Your shoes pick up a lot of germs while walking around.

Remove your clothing and put it directly into the washing machine. When possible, wash your clothes in hot water.

Shower as soon as you get home and change into clean clothes. Be sure not to share towels with other family members.

Inside your House

Do a daily wipe down of home surfaces that are touched often. These include things like doorknobs, light switches, handrails, remote controls and game controllers.

Don’t share drinks, cups or eating utensils with other family members. Don’t eat snacks from the bag. Instead, pour them into individual bowls.

Model good hand-washing techniques for your kids and other family members by using soap and water, lathering and scrubbing for at least 20 seconds, thoroughly rinsing and drying. Remember to wash between your fingers, under your nails and the tops of your hands.