Mar 23, 2020
While it may be impossible to prevent infection from the new coronavirus, you can take steps to minimize the risk of COVID-19 illness in your home or office.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says transmission may occur when infected persons cough or sneeze, releasing respiratory droplets in the air. In this manner, the virus can spread to people within about 6 feet. According to the National Institutes of Health, evidence also suggests the virus may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces. Adequate cleaning and disinfection are important, especially in homes where a person is suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, according to the CDC.
Detailed information on how to clean and disinfect surfaces is available on the CDC.gov website. In general, the CDC recommends cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces daily in household common areas such as tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, light switches, remote controls, handles, desks, toilets and sinks. Use a bleach solution of 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water. Use disposable gloves while working and clean your hands immediately after gloves are removed.
If a person is ill, consider reducing frequency of interaction to an as-needed basis to avoid unnecessary contact. As much as possible, an ill person should remain in a specific room, away from other people. The CDC offers guidance for home care of an ill person.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration provides its publication, Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 (PDF, 1.1MB), for businesses. Page 11 of the document advises businesses to maintain regular housekeeping practices, including routine cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, equipment and other elements of the work environment by using Environmental Protection Agency-approved disinfectants.
Both at work and at home:
The World Health Organization offers a detailed Q&A on coronaviruses (COVID-19).
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