Personal Self Prevention

How can you protect yourself?

The best way to protect yourself is to not put yourself in a situation where you could be exposed. But in todays world that’s not completely realistic for most people. So lets talk about some things you can do to protect yourself and others.

Washing your hands often during the day is a good step to prevent getting sick. But when exactly should you wash your hands and for how long each wash? Each wash you should be washing your hands for at least 20 seconds. A good way to know if you’ve done a wash long enough is to sing the Happy Birthday song twice. Making sure you’re washing in-between your fingers and the tops of your hands & palms all the way up to your wrists. The best times to wash your hands are as follows recommended by the CDC :

  • After you’ve been in public
  • After sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose
  • Before eating or prepping food
  • Before touching your face
  • After using the bathroom
  • After handling your mask
  • After changing a diaper
  • After taking care of someone who is sick
  • After touching animals or pets

What if you don’t have soap and water available?

The CDC recommends that if there is no soap and water available for you to wash your hands at the times needed you can use a hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol. Be sure to cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together. DO NOT wipe off excess hand sanitizer, just keep rubbing your hands together until they feel dry. Wiping off excess sanitizer can make it less effective against germs and bacteria.

Avoid being too close to anyone while in public (at least 6 feet apart). Also avoid close contact with anyone who is sick. This includes household members that are sick. Don’t forget people could have the virus but not have symptoms.

Wear a mask when out in public, even if you do not feel sick, you could still have the virus and therefore spread it. Remember masks are used to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Always cover your mouth and nose while sneezing or coughing. Using a kleenex is the best way to stop droplets from entering the air or even landing on people because you can simply throw it away afterwards. If you don’t have kleenex available coughing or sneezing into your elbow is best. Always wash your hands afterwards.

Lastly, clean and disinfect surfaces daily. The places that should be focused on are common touch areas. These include:

  • Doors and door handles
  • Tables and chairs
  • Light switches
  • Counters
  • Handles
  • Desks
  • Phones
  • Keyboards
  • Toilets and flush handles
  • Sinks, faucets, soap dispensers and paper towel dispensers when not touchless

When cleaning and disinfecting surfaces remember it is most beneficial to first clean a surface, especially when it appears dirty, before disinfecting. Cleaning a surface of debris, dirt or grime first allows the disinfectant to be applied to the entire surface area instead of sitting on top of the dirt and debris. Using soap and water for cleaning is recommended by the CDC. After cleaning surfaces you can than apply your household disinfectant.

Not sure if your household disinfectant is approved for the virus or not sure what products are approved to kill the virus? Click the link below then follow our steps:

https://cfpub.epa.gov/giwiz/disinfectants/index.cfm

  • Once on the EPA page click launch
  • From there click use site to see a list of approved household disinfectants
  • If you are trying to find out if the product you already have is approved you can go to the EPA registration number tab and enter the numbers on the product label
  • There are several other options on this site to help you find products the are approved to kill the virus and some information as well.