Cleaning Tips to Prevent the Spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Novel Coronavirus is on everyone’s mind today. We can’t turn on the tv or radio, or open a newspaper or web page, or meet with other people without hearing the most recent numbers. Coronavirus is a microbe, often called a ‘germ.’ Viruses, bacteria, and fungi are all microbes. Some are helpful, others harmful. 

older adult cleaning hands to prevent covid-19 coronavirus infection from spreading
Cleaning
To Prevent Coronavirus

SARS-CoV-2 is the scientific name for the microbe or pathogen that causes the disease COVID-19. This new, or Novel strain is yet to be fully understood by scientists, although answers are coming out slowly. Despite a lack of knowledge, we do know that hygiene, cleanliness, and social distancing are the most effective way to break the chain of infection. 

Cleaning and disinfecting are not the same thing.

Cleaning refers to the removal of visible dirt and debris from a surface. Disinfecting is the act of washing a clean surface with a product that kills microbes. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that 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. 

Transmission Of COVID-19 

The transmission of novel Coronavirus happens through respiratory droplets. Respiratory droplets come from someone who doesn’t cover coughs or sneezes. These droplets spread throughout the environment and land on whatever is nearby. Scientists are continuing to understand this virus and need more time to know how the virus transmits from a surface to a person. The evidence suggests that novel coronavirus may remain for hours to days on different types of surfaces. 

WHO (World Health Organization) and the CDC are advising people of all ages to take measures to protect themselves with frequent effective handwashing. People of all ages are becoming infected by the new Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Older people and people with pre-existing medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease, appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.

Cleaning Around the Home

If no one in the home is sick with COVID-19, it is acceptable to continue with customary cleaning practices. However, surfaces that are frequently touched by hands should receive more attention in light of the outbreak. If there is someone sick with COVID-19 in your home, more comprehensive and consistent cleaning and disinfection will be necessary.

Coronavirus is no harder to kill than any other virus in our environment. Cleaning products approved by FDA may be used and include popular cleaners such as Lysol and Clorox. Different sanitation products have different kill times, so it’s essential to read the label and follow the manufacturer’s directions. Spending time and money to clean is useless if the cleaning isn’t effective. 

Protecting the Elderly 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO):

People of all ages can be infected by the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.

WHO advises people of all ages to take steps to protect themselves from the virus, for example by following good hand hygiene and good respiratory hygiene.

Given this advice, special consideration must be given to personal interaction with older adults. This is especially true for assisted living facility and nursing home socialization and group activities held in common areas at these long term care facilities.

Can pets spread Coronavirus?

Researchers don’t know how the virus behaves between people and their pets but recommends people limit contact with animals until more information becomes available. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pets. 

Handwashing and hygiene measures can go a long way in breaking the chain of infection. Happy handwashing!