With everything going on in the world and with COVID-19 case numbers on the rise, we wanted to layout out some simple best practices to help keep your family and/or business as safe as possible. These tips are not only affective during a pandemic, but are also helpful during times like cold and flu seasons. In this article you will find easy things that you can implement that will help prevent the spread of different micro-organisms. If you noticed something we missed or would like us to cover something in more detail, please leave us a comment below.
Understanding How Viruses Spread
When thinking about how to avoid germs and diseases it can be hard because we can’t see them. What we can do though is take precautions. The most common way to catch diseases is face to face interaction. When being in close contact with anyone we have a high chance of getting sick. Other ways diseases and viruses are spread are from food. This can happen in many different ways, but one example is salad. Since it does not get cooked, any germs that manage to get on your salad are now with you. Another common way of getting sick is touching your face. When we are away from home, we touch our face constantly which gives micro-organisms the perfect opportunity. Another possible but uncommon way to get sick is from our furry friends at home. They can bring in germs from outside and spread them around the house.
Wash Your Hands as Frequently as Possible
Now that you know how germs are commonly passed around what can you do to prevent yourself from getting sick? The most important thing to keep safe is washing your hands! This is crucial to killing germs and it’s important to ensure that you are not doing a lackluster job. When washing your hands, you should wash them with soap for at least 20 seconds, making sure to scrub the entire surface of your hands. Although it is recommended to wash your hands sometimes you just cannot do it. Whether you are at work or running errands a solution to staying safe if you are not home is to carry and use hand sanitizer. The best sanitizer to use must have at least 60% alcohol to be as efficient as possible.
Clean & Sanitize High-Touch Areas
While germs and bacteria can live on any surface, there are some places that are more likely to be hotspots than others. Sanitizing your household and especially the things that are touched daily will help keep you safe from infections by micro-organisms. Some examples of high-touch areas include handles, kitchen (faucets, countertops, etc.), phones, keyboards and any other area that you and your family’s hands frequent. When disinfecting these areas, it’s important to make sure to use the EPA Approved Disinfectants to make sure the job is getting done right. If you have a big area to cover, this type of cleaning can seem overwhelming. If you are faced with a big sanitizing job, consider using a disinfecting company like Immaculate Restoration. A professional team of IICRC certified specialists able to quickly apply disinfectant to any home or office and give you peace of mind.
Covering Coughs & Sneezes
When it comes to spreading germs, you might be spreading them unintentionally and not even realize it. Even if you show no signs of sickness you could be a carrier. When coughing or sneezing into your hands we do not think about sanitizing our hands right away. If we do this then we touch another surface or person, that is now infected. To properly prevent the spread of germs you should cough and sneeze into the inside of your elbow. If you do this, you will be keeping any types of infection or bacteria away from your hands making it far less likely that you will spread it as you go about your day. Even while using this method you should still sanitize your hands after each incident if possible. When it comes to someone else coughing or sneezing near you try to step away and if you are unable to do so, make sure not to touch your face!
Covering Your Mouth and Nose with a Mask
When writing this the world is dealing with a pandemic, COVID-19 (Corona Virus). During this time and any time of an outbreak it is highly recommended you wear a face mask that securely covers your mouth and nose. During this time wearing a mask helps everyone even if you are not sick! One way it helps is to prevent yourself from contracting the disease. Another way it helps is if you are sick or not sick and a carrier, it helps prevent other people from getting it from you. When wearing a mask, don’t consider this as a replacement for social distancing. You should still keep your distance if and when possible. You can find more information about cloth face coverings at the CDC’s website.
Pay Attention to Your Own Health
Taking care of your own body is just as important as watching out for others. Considering all the topics listed above your diet, fitness, and sleep all play a huge role in your body’s ability to fight off any infection you might get. Another thing to consider when thinking of your immune health is your daily vitamin D intake. Vitamin D helps your immune system, bone strength, and cardiovascular system. There are also vaccines and other preventative measures that you can discuss with your doctor to prevent illnesses like the flu.
It’s also important to be on the look out for any symptoms of illness; some of these symptoms can be fever, heavy cough, shortness of breath, runny or stuffy nose and/or congestion. These are the generic signs of the common cold that you should look out for. If you notice symptoms increase or get worse, it is important to go see a doctor as soon as possible. If you are sick, the best thing you can do is get rest and keep hydrated. Sanitizing is good if you have other members in the household, but once your symptoms start to go away, you should sanitize any area you were in while sick to prevent it spreading to someone else.
When you are cleaning and sanitizing around the house or your office space it is important to wear gloves so that what you touch doesn’t affect you. If you are living with other family members that are sick it is very important to wear gloves when cleaning around the areas. When it comes to using gloves, you should use disposable ones because if you reuse them, they might be infected. When it comes to using gloves while shopping or at the ATM, gloves can be less effective since you are often performing many tasks in sequence with the shopping or ATM use. If gloves are worn between activities, the germs and viruses can be transmitted on the surface of the gloves. Because of this, it is crucial to use gloves as single use and to utilize proper hand washing in other situations.
Knowing When to Get Tested
During this COVID-19 pandemic, many people are concerned and unsure if they need to get tested. As of this writing, the current recommendation is to wait if you don’t currently have any symptoms. This is due to the limited number of tests available and the need to test those with the most severe illness and symptoms first. Depending on your location, many facilities are starting to allow testing for anyone that wants it now that tests are more widely available. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has a very helpful page that will tell you if you really need to get tested or not.
We also put together some other things that might apply to you or someone you know. Even if it does not apply to you, it might be lifesaving information for someone you know. This list also applies to the common flu and currently the most important thing, COVID-19.
Older Adults have a Higher Risk
When it comes to coronaviruses in general, older adults seem to have a higher risk for developing severe complications. While older adults should take the above precautions more seriously, it is important that all of us are aware of more vulnerable individuals so that we can do our part in keeping them safe. While it can be hard to be away from loved ones, social distancing is currently the best defense from spreading any types of coronavirus.
Asthma Causes a Higher Risk
If you have Asthma almost all illnesses will affect you differently because of congestion and troubled breathing. Coronavirus and other illnesses can greatly affect your nose and lungs which can lead to an asthma attack. Make sure to continue your medications, avoid your asthma triggers and if you need help talk to your healthcare provider. Take all the above precautions serious and make sure not to share any items even with family members.
Caution for Pregnant Women
There is currently no known data proving that COVID-19 will affect pregnant women differently. However, it is common for pregnant woman to be more susceptible to viruses due to respiratory issues. If you have a newborn or a child under the age of 4, face masks of any sort are NOT recommended because they have a high chance of suffocation. Some babies have been reported to have the virus after birth, but it is unclear if the baby had the virus before or after birth.
Protecting Yourself and Others
During the time of a pandemic like COVID-19 it is very important to take all the above precautions as serious as possible. When it comes to the ‘cold’ season the list above still applies, but some precautions might only be needed in a pandemic. An example could be, not wearing a mask everywhere you go unless you are the one who is sick. Before this pandemic it was rare to see people with masks on and that’s what we as a society associate as normal.
During this pandemic we remain open to help our customers. The CDC recommends hospital-grade products and methods when disinfecting facilities which we take very seriously. The disinfectant we use is all-natural and a botanical formula approved for use in medical facilities. We are IICRC certified and are available to clean and sanitize 24 hour a day. We provide free estimates and are very discreet when working with local businesses to ensure your customers are safe and free from worry. If you have any questions or concerns about the products we use, we are more than happy to provide that information.
From our family to yours, please be SAFE!
Find out more about our sanitizing service on our Disinfecting and Sanitizing page.