(RxWiki News) As the US begins to reopen, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is issuing guidance on how we can do so safely.
These recommendations include guidance for cleaning and disinfecting public spaces, workplaces, businesses, schools and even your home.
Reopening will require everyone's efforts to continue practicing social distancing and other daily habits, such as washing your hands frequently and wearing a face mask — all ways to lower exposure to the virus.
The CDC recommends proper cleaning and disinfecting. With the right cleaning products, the virus that causes COVID-19 can be killed. These disinfecting recommendations are geared more toward businesses and organizations responsible for public spaces, but they may be able to translate to your household.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a list of products that meet the criteria for use against the virus that causes COVID-19. However, the inclusion of a product on this list doesn't mean the agency has endorsed it. Also, this list is not exhaustive. The complete list of products can be found here.
If these products are not available, alternative disinfectants can be used. Examples include 70 percent alcohol solutions and adding 1/3 cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water. (Bleach solutions will be effective for disinfection for up to 24 hours.)
Note: Do not mix bleach or other cleaning and disinfecting products together. Mixing these products can cause fumes that should not be inhaled.
The CDC recommends always using the appropriate cleaning or disinfectant product. Regardless of the cleaning product, keep the following in mind:
- Always follow product label directions.
- Never mix household cleaning products.
- Keep products away from and out of sight of kids and pets.
- When handling cleaning products and cleaning, wear protective gear like gloves.
- Use cleaning substances only in areas with good ventilation.
Cleaning with soap and water is just as important as using disinfectants. Soap and water decrease the amount of the virus that is on surfaces, which ultimately reduces the risk of exposure.
In fact, experts recommend cleaning surfaces and objects with soap and water prior to disinfection. In some cases, cleaning with only soap and water is sufficient.
When cleaning your home, first determine which surfaces need to be cleaned. Some surfaces only need to be cleaned with soap and water. For example, surfaces and objects that are not frequently touched only need soap and water. Furthermore, children's items like toys require soap and water. Kids may put these objects in their mouths, and disinfectant chemicals on these objects could be dangerous.
Pay attention to items and surfaces that are touched frequently, such as light switches and doorknobs. These surfaces need to be disinfected more often than others.
For soft materials like clothes, seating and area rugs, experts recommend washing these items according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Wash on the warmest temperature setting possible, and dry the items completely.
Speak with your health care provider if you have any questions or concerns.