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David Pong, M.D.

By: David Pong, M.D. on May 27th, 2020

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Cleaning to Protect Yourself During COVID-19

Medical Perspectives | COVID-19

Cleaning has been a huge focus during the COVID-19 pandemic. It starts with washing your hands, but it also stretches beyond that. How do you reduce the risk, as best as possible, of bringing the active virus into your home or environment? 

The diligence to which you do this depends to some degree on how much risk there is to the people in your home. If you have people in your home who are older or people with other illnesses that put them at high risk for having bad outcomes, then you need to take it more seriously. The sicker the people are around you, the more diligent you need to be in keeping yourself and the things you bring into your home clean. 

For more information, watch the video below, and read on for a recap. 

How Should You Clean Yourself When You Come Back from Being in Public? 

The more likely you are to being exposed, the more careful you need to be. As a doctor, for example, on days when I see other people, I come into the house taking off my outer clothes and take a shower immediately. After I walk the dog? I'll mostly just be sure to take off my shoes. 

Usually the first thing I do when I come in the house is wash my hands. It's a good habit. 

How Should I Protect Myself If I Have Someone With COVID-19 In My Home?

If you have someone with the virus in your home, try have on a better mask and an outer gown of clothing anytime you go into a quarantined room to help change linens, bathe, or help the person. Upon leaving the room, immediately take them off your mask and outer gown and wash them before your next use. 

How Should I Clean Takeout Food? 

Supporting your local restaurants and bringing home takeout food is a good thing. The safest way to handle takeout food is to make sure all the containers do not come into your home. The food inside is most likely clean. The virus is coated in fatty layer, and most foods, particularly hot foods, are prepped in a way that should destroy that easily. 

Bring the containers and the food to a table with some cooking trays. Take the food out of the container and into your own dishes. Throw the containers into the trash immediately. And then wash your hands before eating. 

Similarly, when thinking about groceries, continue to wash produce in running water the way you always have. Anything that has a container that can be wiped, wipe it down with a bleach and water solution. And for things that can't be cleaned that way but can be allowed to sit out, let them sit on a table for a few days to allow time itself to degrade the virus. 

Looking for more COVID-19 content? Check out our videos on antibody testing, the value of masks, and more, here.