Hygiene Tips: Staying Safe in Public PlacesMarch 30, 2020
Your individual actions are important to containing the spread of COVID-19. Taking preventative measures while in public is necessary to save lives. While you should avoid public places and contact with others whenever you can, this is not always possible. When you must attend high-traffic areas or encounter others, these preventative measures are vital to the safety of you and those around you.
Doctor’s Offices, Banks, and Other Public Places
Even as many people begin to work from home, stop going to restaurants, and stop meeting people in person, we can’t avoid contact with others altogether. Whenever possible, you should move your meetings and appointments to virtual environments. This could mean talking over the phone, using video conferencing, or just sending an email.
When you need to go anywhere in public, it’s important to take the following precautions:
- Maintain a six-foot distance from those around you whenever possible. If you arrive at your destination and see a high number of people, consider returning at a slower time if possible.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with your arm, not your hands.
- Avoid touching doorknobs and other high-touch areas with your hands. Instead, use a tissue or your elbow.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds whenever possible, and especially as soon as you get home.
- Use hand sanitizer with minimum 60% alcohol when hand-washing is not available.
- Learn more from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
If you have anxiety about going grocery shopping, there are some steps you can take to limit your exposure to COVID-19. You should consider avoiding grocery stores altogether and getting your groceries delivered to limit your in-person exposure, although there may be significant wait times for orders.
If you need to head to the store, these are some precautions you should take:
Tips for shopping:
- Plan ahead and limit your time in the grocery store. This means knowing exactly what you need before entering the store, and shopping efficiently.
- Call ahead to find out what days and times typically have the lowest amount of traffic at your grocery store and plan to go then.
- Sanitize the cart and each individual item that you pick up with disinfectant wipes.
- Purchase two weeks’ worth of groceries so you can limit your grocery trips.
- Maintain as much distance as possible from other shoppers.
Disinfecting your purchases:
- Even if you choose to get your groceries delivered, disinfecting your purchases is still crucial.
- It is unknown how long the coronavirus can live on surfaces, but not touching purchased items for several days after bringing them home is a good option.
- For items unable to sit out for a few days like frozen and refrigerated foods, make sure to disinfect before you bring them into your home.
- Dispose of outer packaging and plastic when possible.
- View a demonstration of how to safely disinfect your groceries.