Coronavirus: How to keep your household safe from outside germs

ByDenise Dador KABC logo
Friday, March 27, 2020
Coronavirus: How to keep your household safe from outside germs
You may be unknowingly doing things that could bring COVID-19 into your home, but here are tips to reduce your risk.

As much as most of us are all trying to limit our exposure to the outside world, some people still need to go out to work, and many need to go to the store, pharmacy or gas station.

But experts say there are things you may be unknowingly doing that could be bringing COVID-19 into your home.

One easy thing you can do to prevent bringing in unwanted germs into your home is to keep a second set of clothes near the door so you can change.

Turn your outerwear inside out, and before you step into the house, take off your shoes.

Pay attention to the soles because it only takes seconds for pathogens to stick to other surfaces.

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You can spray them down with something that kills viruses and bacteria, or better yet, wipe them down with a disinfectant wipe.

Internal medicine expert Dr. John de Beixedon said coronavirus is an "enveloped viruses," meaning they are enveloped with a fat layer. But disinfectants can tear apart that layer.

Therefore, the best way to break them down and kill them is with soap and water. Also, make sure you vigorously rub your hands, and interlace fingers as that physical action helps clean thoroughly.

Hand sanitizers inactivate the virus, but it may still live on your hands, so don't touch your face and make sure to wash them as soon as you can.

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"Plastics can also have those viral particles for up to three days. Cardboard for about 24 hours and copper surfaces about four hours," Dr. de Beixedon said.

Other research suggests the virus can live on stainless steel surfaces for two to three days.

"The more fresh air we have, the less likely we are to be inundated by viral particles that can lead to illness," he added.

Also, wash and wipe down all of the places people in your home touch all the time, such as doors knobs, toilet handles, tables and counter tops.

"Lysol makes an aerosol that's 99.9%, it kills 99.9% of germs and curiously, one of the germs that they listed on there is coronavirus," he said.

If you have to rush inside, one helpful tip is to wear a makeshift plastic bootie to cover your shoes.

You can even use a plastic hair cover. A little creativity can help to keep you healthy.

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