coronavirus, EE&G, Social Distancing

Social Distancing – Covid-19

Why practice social distancing?

COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact (within about 6 feet) for a prolonged period. Spread happens when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, and droplets from their mouth or nose are launched into the air and land in the mouths or noses of people nearby. The droplets can also be inhaled into the lungs. Recent studies indicate that people who are infected but do not have symptoms likely also play a role in the spread of COVID-19.

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes. However, this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. COVID-19 can live for hours or days on a surface, depending on factors such as sun light and humidity. Social distancing helps limit contact with infected people and contaminated surfaces.

Although the risk of severe illness may be different for everyone, anyone can get and spread COVID-19. Everyone has a role to play in slowing the spread and protecting themselves, their family, and their community.

Tips for social distancing

  • Follow guidance from authorities where you live.
  • If you need to shop for food or medicine at the grocery store or pharmacy, stay at least 6 feet away from others.
    • Use mail-order for medications, if possible.
    • Consider a grocery delivery service.
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others, including when you have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store.
      • Stay at least 6 feet between yourself and others, even when you wear a face covering.
  • Avoid large and small gatherings in private places and public spaces, such a friend’s house, parks, restaurants, shops, or any other place. This advice applies to people of any age, including teens and younger adults. Children should not have in-person playdates while school is out. To help maintain social connections while social distancing, learn tips to keep children healthy while school’s out.
  • Work from home when possible.
  • If possible, avoid using any kind of public transportation, ridesharing, or taxis.
  • If you are a student or parent, talk to your school about options for digital/distance learning.

Stay connected while staying away. It is very important to stay in touch with friends and family that don’t live in your home. Call, video chat, or stay connected using social media. Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations and having to socially distance yourself from someone you love can be difficult.

Keeping Space Between Yourself and Other People Outside of Your Home

Keeping Space Between Yourself and Other People Outside of Your Home

What is social distancing?

Social distancing also called “physical distancing,” means keeping space between yourself and other people outside of your home. To practice social or physical distancing:

  • Stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) from other people
  • Do not gather in groups
  • Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings

In addition to everyday steps to prevent COVID-19, keeping space between you and others is one of the best tools we have to avoid being exposed to this virus and slowing its spread locally and across the country and world.

When COVID-19 is spreading in your area, everyone should limit close contact with individuals outside your household in indoor and outdoor spaces. Since people can spread the virus before they know they are sick, it is important to stay away from others when possible, even if you have no symptoms. Social distancing is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.

Why practice social distancing?

COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact (within about 6 feet) for a prolonged period. Spread happens when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, and droplets from their mouth or nose are launched into the air and land in the mouths or noses of people nearby. The droplets can also be inhaled into the lungs. Recent studies indicate that people who are infected but do not have symptoms likely also play a role in the spread of COVID-19.

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes. However, this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. COVID-19 can live for hours or days on a surface, depending on factors such as sun light and humidity. Social distancing helps limit contact with infected people and contaminated surfaces.

Although the risk of severe illness may be different for everyone, anyone can get and spread COVID-19. Everyone has a role to play in slowing the spread and protecting themselves, their family, and their community.

Tips for social distancing

  • Follow guidance from authorities where you live.
  • If you need to shop for food or medicine at the grocery store or pharmacy, stay at least 6 feet away from others.
    • Use mail-order for medications, if possible.
    • Consider a grocery delivery service.
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others, including when you have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store.
      • Stay at least 6 feet between yourself and others, even when you wear a face covering.
  • Avoid large and small gatherings in private places and public spaces, such a friend’s house, parks, restaurants, shops, or any other place. This advice applies to people of any age, including teens and younger adults. Children should not have in-person playdates while school is out. To help maintain social connections while social distancing, learn tips to keep children healthy while school’s out.
  • Work from home when possible.
  • If possible, avoid using any kind of public transportation, ridesharing, or taxis.
  • If you are a student or parent, talk to your school about options for digital/distance learning.

Stay connected while staying away. It is very important to stay in touch with friends and family that don’t live in your home. Call, video chat, or stay connected using social media. Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations and having to socially distance yourself from someone you love can be difficult.

EE&G Responds to The Covid-19 Crisis

EE&G Responds to The Covid-19 Crisis

In times of crisis like the one we are experiencing, solidarity and humanity are present in many ways, and everyone gives their best to collaborate. This is the case of the EE&G Group, who has always been on the community’s side to make it easier to help solve the difficulties in doing so.

Who is EE&G?

The EE&G Group dates back to 1986 and has been in business for over 33 years. EE&G has built its reputation in the Environmental Industry by providing quality and diversified expertise to its clients with an array of Contracting Services including; Environmental Contracting & Construction, Disaster, Restoration, Air Conditioning & Mechanical Contracting Services.

EE&G is headquartered in Miami Lakes, Florida, with convenient locations strategically selected in the States of Florida and Georgia. Today, thanks to their unsurpassed customer service and its multidisciplinary team of professionals, the EE&G brand has reached national recognition as experts in the Environmental Remediation, Restoration, and Construction Industry. Their experience is indisputable and today is recognized as experts by many institutions in the public and private sectors.

Currently, many companies are requesting their services for cleaning and disinfection of working areas, as is one specific case in South Florida, where EE&G responded to the community as soon as the COVI-19 Pandemic started by helping the City of Miami Lakes and his team of volunteers, with the sanitation, disinfection cleaning at the COHEA (City of Hialeah Educational Academy), where food delivery takes place every Friday in an effort to help the community and especially those most affected by COVID19 in the area.

“At this time of crisis we want to do everything we can to help all residents stay safe,” says one of EE&G’s employees.

EE&G is maintaining CDC guidance and cleaning protocols, in all their projects across Florida and Georgia states.

EE&G is assisting Clients to -prepare Covid-19 Disinfection Response plans for their buildings, so if and when an incident occurs, they are ready to respond and experience minimal downtime.  Be conservative and be prepared, as we all will be living with the presence of this virus for the immediate future.  They are working hard to assist public and private clients de such as temporary hospitals, police departments, and daycare facilities, residential buildings, hotels, and more.

If we all put our grain of sand, thinking about the common good and not the proper, as EE&G is doing, we will get out before this crisis that affects us all equally.

They can help you Protect your Biggest Assets; Your Employees and Your Operational Ability! For help with cleaning and disinfecting services call 866.334.9111 or get a free quote. 

viruses and bacteria

Viruses, Bacteria, and Mold | Pesticide Research Institute

Problems with microbes?

Mold, bacteria, and viruses can cause problems in any household. While not all microbes are bad, some are capable of compromising your health and causing disease. Mold and mildew can produce allergens that can exacerbate respiratory problems, and pathogenic bacteria and viruses are responsible for giving you everything from the common cold to food-borne illnesses.

Preventing and Managing Mold, Bacteria, and Viruses

Cleaning is a top-level strategy for removing mold and bacteria. This work can be quite a chore but it is necessary to keep yourself and your family healthy. A few additional steps can be taken to reduce the possibility of these microbes causing a problem around your home.

Utilize natural light and circulating air

  • Open a window or turn on a fan to move moist air out and reduce the likelihood of mildew forming in the bathroom. Mold and mildew are often a problem in bathrooms because of the moisture.
  • Use the sun: UV rays can kill bacteria, and leaving items exposed to strong sunlight for several hours can help to disinfect them.

Stop mold from growing by fixing leaks right away

  • Fix leaky pipes or water spills right away to help make sure that mold never has a chance to start growing.

Practice clean kitchen techniques

  • Ensure that raw foods such as meat are kept separate from other foods in the refrigerator to avoid intestinal problems caused by foodborne illnesses.
  • Clean counters and cutting boards thoroughly after they have come into contact with raw foods. If a cutting board is not dishwasher safe, clean it thoroughly with warm soapy water after use.
  • Make sure that cold foods stay cold and hot foods stay hot to keep bacteria from growing. Keep your refrigerator at 40°F or below and put leftover food in the refrigerator as soon as possible.
  • Cook meats to the right temperature to make sure they are safe to eat: 145°F for whole meats, 160°F for ground meats, and 165°F for poultry.
Hand Washing

Wash hands

  • Wash hands frequently to help prevent transmission of pathogenic bacteria or viruses. Soap and water are a powerful tool and in most cases are just as effective as antibacterial soaps.

Be careful with children, toys, and pets

  • Keep toys clean. Children’s bath toys can retain water, which encourages the growth of mold.
  • Avoid sharing bath towels. Sharing is not recommended since this can spread bacteria and viruses, especially when someone in the household has a cold.
  • Wash hands after playing with pets or handling pet waste.
Pest Smart mobile app
PRIApp_SearchRead on for information on natural cleaners for mold, bacteria, and viruses. Also included is a comparison of active ingredients commonly used in antimicrobial products.Interested in finding out more about specific antimicrobial products? The Pest Smart app is now available in the iTunes Store. Conveniently access pesticide data on your iPhone and iPad while on the job, in the store, and at home.

  • Search by product name or registration number.
  • Search by the pest to find pesticide products that target common household and garden pests like ants, fleas, cockroaches, lawn weeds and aphids.
  • Quickly verify the eligibility of a pesticide product for use in the LEED v4-certified Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program.
  • Compare products and find least-toxic alternatives to streamline decision-making.
  • Link to PRI’s Pest Management Bulletins to learn about low-impact methods of pest control that minimize pesticide use and exposure.

Low Impact Approaches

Natural Cleaners for Mold, Bacteria, and Viruses

Various combinations of household items such as vinegar, baking soda, and plain soap can be used as cleaning agents in the home and are just as effective as harsher chemical products for many applications. Whether you want to avoid using these harsh chemicals because of asthma or other sensitivities or are just looking for a cost-effective set of cleaning tools, the following list highlights the most important cleaners.

Vinegar

  • Vinegar works best at full strength (5% acetic acid) but the addition of several drops of essential oil will improve the smell for those that are sensitive. Vinegar is effective for cleaning mildew in the shower or can be used as an after-shower spray to prevent the growth of new mildew. Vinegar can also be used to kill some bacteria and viruses, including Salmonella and E. coli, and is useful for cleaning counters or cutting boards and removing smells.
  • NEVER mix vinegar with bleach or ammonia because it forms harmful chlorine or chloramine gases. Be careful not to clean with vinegar and then with bleach after, as the residue may still react.
Cleaning supplies

Baking soda

  • Baking soda has antifungal properties and is registered by the US EPA as a biopesticide.
  • Mix baking soda with water to make a paste that is effective at removing mold or mildew in the grout between tiles. Baking soda has many properties that make it useful as an all-purpose cleaner and can be used as a scouring agent.

Tea tree oil

  • Tea tree oil is more expensive than some other natural remedies but is effective at killing mold and mildew. After scrubbing off mildew using a tea tree oil solution, apply a little extra to prevent more mildew from growing back.
  • Many bacterial species are susceptible to tea tree oil, including Streptococcus pyogenesStaphylococcus aureus, and Escherichia coli.

Salt 

  • Salt is a microbial inhibitor. Many microorganisms need moist conditions to thrive, making salt an efficient way to reduce the amount of water available for microbes to grow.
  • Salt also interferes with microbe enzyme activity and weakens the molecular structure of bacterial and fungal DNA.

Household hydrogen peroxide

  • A 3% hydrogen peroxide solution can be used to remove and prevent the growth of mildew and mold.
  • Hydrogen peroxide is registered as a sterilizer and is effective against the HIV-1 virus, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and Norovirus. Higher concentrations of peroxide are available as cleaning products and are also effective against many pathogenic bacteria and viruses, but are corrosive to skin and eyes.

Lemon juice

  • Lemon juice is a versatile cleaner and can be used in combination with baking soda or salt to inhibit the growth of some bacteria.
  • Using a stronger cleaner is advised for cleansing surfaces that come in contact with raw meat.

Many of these natural cleaners can help reduce problems caused by other household pests as well. Wiping counters with vinegar can kill microbes as well as prevent pests such as ants and cockroaches finding food in your kitchen, without resorting to harmful pesticides.  See our bulletins on ants and cockroaches for more information.

Antimicrobial Pesticides for Treating Mold, Bacteria, and Viruses

Potential Consequences of Using Antimicrobial Pesticides

Antimicrobial pesticides can be beneficial for protecting human health and are required in some institutional settings such as daycare centers, restaurants, and other food-handling establishments. If you are caring for an immune-compromised person or running a daycare center, proper disinfection or sanitation of surfaces is particularly important, and antimicrobial pesticides are an important tool. Nevertheless, there are adverse effects associated with their use, such as:

  • The overuse of some antimicrobial agents may be a factor contributing to the development of resistant bacteria, so use only when needed.
  • Because many of these products are available as aerosol sprays, exposure through inhalation is possible and can cause respiratory and eye irritation and exacerbate asthma.
  • Many of these products are effective at sanitizing and disinfecting because they are oxidizing agents or are strongly acidic or basic. These characteristics result in hazards from spills on skin or in the eyes, or via inhalation.

Be sure to follow the label instructions carefully and read all warnings.

Types of antimicrobial pesticides

Antimicrobial pesticides are used to destroy or stop the growth of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi. They are designed to be used on inanimate objects only and can be found as sprays, liquids, concentrated powders, wipes, and gases (mostly for hospital use).

There are several different types of anti-microbial products and it is important to know their intended use. The US EPA has very specific definitions for each one:

  • Cleaner: A product that physically removes debris from the surface.
  • SanitizerA product that kills 99.9% of the germs identified on its label.
  • DisinfectantA product that kills nearly 100% of the germs identified on its label. Destroys most pathogens but not bacterial spores.
  • Sterilizer: A product that destroys all microorganisms, including bacterial spores.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) further classifies disinfectants as high, intermediate, and low level disinfectants, which has to do with which particular microorganisms it inactivates and the concentration at which it is active.

The antimicrobial activity of the product is affected by the concentration of the active ingredients and the dwell time.

  • Dwell time: The amount of time that the product must remain on the surface for optimum antimicrobial activity. Typically included on the label.
  • Concentration of active ingredients: The concentration of an active ingredient varies from product to product, so read the label to determine if a product can be used as a disinfectant or only as a sanitizer.The percent of the active ingredient and the inert ingredients in a product may also change the hazards associated with a particular product.

The US EPA registers antimicrobial products and ensures that labels may not make claims about their effectiveness that are not supported by data. They have also compiled a list of registered products that are effective against specific pathogens, including tuberculosis bacteria, HIV-1 virus, and hepatitis C. For the lists of these products and others, see their website on Selected EPA-Registered Disinfectants.

The following table provides the hazards associated with specific active ingredients. Products may contain other ingredients or more than one active ingredients, so be sure to carefully read the label for any additional or different hazard warnings. According to the EPA, there are approximately 275 active ingredients that are used in antimicrobial products, so we have provided a partial list of some of the types of products you may encounter.

Preventing the Spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 in Homes and Residential Communities

Preventing the Spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 in Homes and Residential Communities

Household members, intimate partners, and caregivers in a nonhealthcare setting may have close contact2 with a person with symptomatic, laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 or a person under investigation. Close contacts should monitor their health; they should call their healthcare provider right away if they develop symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 (e.g., fever, cough, shortness of breath) (see Interim US Guidance for Risk Assessment and Public Health Management of Persons with Potential Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Exposure in Travel-associated or Community Settings.)

Close contacts should also follow these recommendations:

  • Make sure that you understand and can help the patient follow their healthcare provider’s instructions for medication(s) and care. You should help the patient with basic needs in the home and provide support for getting groceries, prescriptions, and other personal needs.
  • Monitor the patient’s symptoms. If the patient is getting sicker, call his or her healthcare provider and tell them that the patient has laboratory-confirmed COVID-19. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people in the office or waiting room from getting infected. Ask the healthcare provider to call the local or state health department for additional guidance. If the patient has a medical emergency and you need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel that the patient has, or is being evaluated for COVID-19.
  • Household members should stay in another room or be separated from the patient as much as possible. Household members should use a separate bedroom and bathroom, if available.
  • Prohibit visitors who do not have an essential need to be in the home.
  • Household members should care for any pets in the home. Do not handle pets or other animals while sick. For more information, see COVID-19 and Animals.
  • Make sure that shared spaces in the home have good airflows, such as by an air conditioner or an opened window, weather permitting.
  • Perform hand hygiene frequently. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60 to 95% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • The patient should wear a facemask when you are around other people. If the patient is not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), you, as the caregiver, should wear a mask when you are in the same room as the patient.
  • Wear a disposable facemask and gloves when you touch or have contact with the patient’s blood, stool, or body fluids, such as saliva, sputum, nasal mucus, vomit, urine.
  • Throw out disposable facemasks and gloves after using them. Do not reuse it.
  • When removing personal protective equipment, first remove and dispose of gloves. Then, immediately clean your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Next, remove and dispose of facemask, and immediately clean your hands again with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid sharing household items with the patient. You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding, or other items. After the patient uses these items, you should wash them thoroughly (see below “Wash laundry thoroughly”).
  • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces, such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables, every day. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them.
    Use a household cleaning spray or wipe, according to the label instructions.
  • Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during the use of the product.

Wash laundry thoroughly.

  • Immediately remove and wash clothes or bedding that have blood, stool, or body fluids on them.
  • Wear disposable gloves while handling soiled items and keep soiled items away from your body. Clean your hands (with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer) immediately after removing your gloves.
  • Read and follow directions on labels of laundry or clothing items and detergent. In general, using a normal laundry detergent according to washing machine instructions and dry thoroughly using the warmest temperatures recommended on the clothing label.
  • Place all used disposable gloves, facemasks, and other contaminated items in a lined container before disposing of them with other household waste. Clean your hands (with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer) immediately after handling these items. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty.

Discuss any additional questions with your state or local health department or healthcare provider. Check available hours when contacting your local health department.

Footnotes

Home healthcare personnel should refer to Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with Known or Patients Under Investigation for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in a Healthcare Setting.

  • Close contact is defined as—

a) being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of a COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time; close contact can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a health care waiting for area or room with a COVID-19 case

– or –

b) having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on).

coronavirus

Recommendations for US Households with Suspected/Confirmed COVID-19

Recommendations for US Households with Suspected/Confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019

Background

There is much to learn about the novel coronavirus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Based on what is currently known about the novel coronavirus and similar coronaviruses that cause SARS and MERS, spread from person-to-person with these viruses happens most frequently among close contacts (within about 6 feet). This type of transmission occurs via respiratory droplets. On the other hand, the transmission of novel coronavirus to persons from surfaces contaminated with the virus has not been documented. Transmission of coronavirus occurs much more commonly through respiratory droplets than through fomites. Current evidence suggests that novel coronavirus may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials. Cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for the prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in households and community settings.

Purpose

This guidance provides recommendations on the cleaning and disinfection of households where persons under investigation (PUI) or those with confirmed COVID-19 reside or maybe in self-isolation. It is aimed at limiting the survival of the virus in the environment. These recommendations will be updated if additional information becomes available.

These guidelines are focused on household settings and are meant for the general public.

  • Cleaning refers to the removal of germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. Cleaning does not kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.
  • Disinfecting refers to using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.
General Recommendations for Routine Cleaning and Disinfection of Households

Community members can practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces (for example tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks) with household cleaners and EPA-registered disinfectants that are appropriate for the surface, following label instructions. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during the use of the product.

General Recommendations for Cleaning and Disinfection of Households with People Isolated in Home Care (e.g. Suspected/Confirmed to have COVID-19)
  • Household members should educate themselves about COVID-19 symptoms and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in homes.
  • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces daily in household common areas (e.g. tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, light switches, remotes, handles, desks, toilets, sinks)
    • In the bedroom/bathroom dedicated to an ill person: consider reducing cleaning frequency to as-needed (e.g., soiled items and surfaces) to avoid unnecessary contact with the ill person.
      • As much as possible, an ill person should stay in a specific room and away from other people in their home, following home care guidance.
      • The caregiver can provide personal cleaning supplies for an ill person’s room and bathroom unless the room is occupied by a child or another person for whom such supplies would not be appropriate. These supplies include tissues, paper towels, cleaners, and EPA-registered disinfectants.
      • If a separate bathroom is not available, the bathroom should be cleaned and disinfected after each use by an ill person. If this is not possible, the caregiver should wait as long as practical after use by an ill person to clean and disinfect the high-touch surfaces.
  • Household members should follow home care guidance when interacting with persons with suspected/confirmed COVID-19 and their isolation rooms/bathrooms.
How to clean and disinfect:
Surfaces
  • Wear disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. Gloves should be discarded after each cleaning. If reusable gloves are used, those gloves should be dedicated to cleaning and disinfection of surfaces for COVID-19 and should not be used for other purposes. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and disinfection products used. Clean hands immediately after gloves are removed.
  • If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
  • For disinfection, diluted household bleach solutions, alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol, and most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective.
    • Diluted household bleach solutions can be used if appropriate for the surface. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.
      • Prepare a bleach solution by mixing:
        • 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water or
        • 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water
    • Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims pdf icon external icon is expected to be effective against COVID-19 based on data for harder to kill viruses. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, etc.).
  • For soft (porous) surfaces such as carpeted floor, rugs, and drapes, remove visible contamination if present and clean with appropriate cleaners indicated for use on these surfaces. After cleaning:
    • Launder items as appropriate in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry items completely, or
      Use products with the EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims (examples at this link pdf icon external icon) that are suitable for porous surfaces.
 Clothing, towels, linens and other items that go in the laundry
  • Wear disposable gloves when handling dirty laundry from an ill person and then discard after each use. If using reusable gloves, those gloves should be dedicated to cleaning and disinfection of surfaces for COVID-19 and should not be used for other household purposes. Clean hands immediately after gloves are removed.
    • If no gloves are used when handling dirty laundry, be sure to wash hands afterward.
    • If possible, do not shake dirty laundry. This will minimize the possibility of dispersing the virus through the air.
    • Launder items as appropriate in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry items completely. Dirty laundry from an ill person can be washed with other people’s items.
    • Clean and disinfect clothes hampers according to the guidance above for surfaces. If possible, consider placing a bag liner that is either disposable (can be thrown away) or can be laundered.
Hand hygiene and other preventive measures
  • Household members should clean hands often, including immediately after removing gloves and after contact with an ill person, by washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly dirty, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol may be used. However, if hands are visibly dirty, always wash hands with soap and water.
  • Household members should follow normal preventive actions while at work and home including recommended hand hygiene and avoiding touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Additional key times to clean hands include:
      • After blowing one’s nose, coughing, or sneezing
      • After using the restroom
      • Before eating or preparing food
      • After contact with animals or pets
      • Before and after providing routine care for another person who needs assistance (e.g. a child)
Other considerations
  • The ill person should eat/be fed in their room if possible. Non-disposable food service items used should be handled with gloves and washed with hot water or in a dishwasher. Clean hands after handling used food service items.
  • If possible, dedicate a lined trash can for the ill person. Use gloves when removing garbage bags, handling, and disposing of trash. Wash hands after handling or disposing of trash.
  • Consider consulting with your local health department about trash disposal guidance if available.
coronavirus

COVID-19 Dos and Don’ts for Everyone

DO wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, several times a day. Use soap and water or a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol:

  • Before cooking or eating
  • After using the bathroom
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing

How to Wash Your Hands

Scrub away! There’s a correct way to wash your hands and get rid of germs.

DON’T touch your eyes, nose, and mouth. If you have somehow come into contact with the virus, touching your face can help it enter your body.

DO learn the symptoms, which are similar to flu:

Fever
Cough
Shortness of breath

Most cases do not start with a runny nose.
DON’T wear a mask unless you’re sick. Masks help protect others from catching the virus, but wearing one when you’re healthy won’t do much. Demand has been so high worldwide that shortages have begun. Leave the masks for people who really need them, like sick or health care professionals.

DO consider taking extra precautions and staying out of public places if you’re over 60 years old, or have a condition, as you have a higher risk of developing the disease. Note that as of now, the highest-risk groups appear to be seniors and people with preexisting conditions like heart disease, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes.

DON’T travel if you have a fever. If you get sick on the flight, tell the crew immediately. When you get home, contact a health professional.

DO reconsider travel to affected countries, especially if you have underlying conditions. For people in a higher-risk group -- seniors and people with preexisting conditions -- the agency suggests postponing nonessential travel. It also suggests everyone avoid cruises. Find the latest advisories here.

DON’T panic. At this point, public health officials still say the risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 is low. Taking proper precautions -- wash your hands! -- and making preparations are the best things you can do.

DO get ready to hunker down. The World Health Organization has now declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic. If someone in your home gets sick, local authorities may want you to be quarantined for up to 14 days. Make sure you have enough shelf-stable food to last that long, as well as prescription medications for anyone in the family, other health supplies such as over-the-counter pain relievers, and disinfectants to clean household surfaces. A government web site also suggests keeping a 2-week supply of food and water in the case of a pandemic and having copies of electronic health records.
DO practice “social distancing”: Avoid large gatherings and crowds in poorly-ventilated spaces, and try to stay at three to six feet away from anyone who’s coughing or sneezing.
DON’T skip the flu shot. The symptoms of COVID-19 and flu overlap enough that it can complicate diagnosis. If you’ve had a flu shot, you’re less likely to catch the flu or have a case serious enough to require treatment.
DO prioritize your health. Now is not the time to burn the candle at both ends, skip workouts, or ignore a healthy diet—that can weaken your immune system.
DON’T avoid toys or products from Asia. Although the virus can live on surfaces for hours and possibly several days, it’s unlikely to survive the process of being moved from place to place in different temperatures and conditions.

DO check in on high-risk neighbors: older adults and people with serious chronic medical conditions. Monitor their food and medical supplies, and make sure they have people or organizations who can help if they get sick.

Dos and Don’ts When You Don’t Feel Well

DO seek help early if you have a fever, cough, and a hard time breathing. But don’t just drop into the nearest urgent care clinic. Call your doctor to find out the protocol first, to make sure you won’t spread the disease to others.