There are several common-sense things you can do to protect yourself, and help prevent or minimize the spread of COVID-19 to your family. Consider these 10 steps from Mayo Clinic’s Infection Prevention and Control team:
1. Pause for a moment and collect your thoughts. Pandemics can be overwhelming, and remaining as calm as possible can help.
2. Clean your hands frequently with soap and water or hand sanitizer. Both are effective. This is particularly important when coming home from outside, before meals and after using the restroom.
3. At the beginning of the day and when you get home, disinfect items that are frequently touched by yourself or others. Such items could include cellphones and cellphone cases, door handles and keyboards. Regular household disinfectants are effective. Disinfecting surfaces and items, and cleaning your hands will reduce transmission.
4. It is reasonable to change out of your work clothes before or when you get home. Launder frequently with normal detergent. No extra laundering or special handling is needed.
5. If you are sick, stay home and try to limit your contact with others, especially vulnerable adults.
6. Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing, cough into your sleeve, and wash your hands if you accidentally soiled them with respiratory secretions.
7. Avoid all contact with elderly or immunocompromised family members. Social distancing is essential to minimize the spread of COVID-19. This is particularly important for those who are most vulnerable.
8. Reserve masks for when you are symptomatic and need to be around others at home.
9. Get adequate sleep and eat sensibly. A healthy immune system is important.
10. Social distancing is important, but keep in contact with friends and family. Relationships are important for mental health. Call, text or use other methods to virtually connect and check on your loved ones.