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Helpful hygiene reminders during the next wave of Covid-19

South Africa and many other countries around the world find themselves in the midst of the next wave of Covid-19, despite an already-impressive vaccine rollout. Although vaccines do not make you entirely immune to Covid, they will ease the symptoms and prevent hospitalisation in most cases. 

The virus is transmitted through direct contact with respiratory droplets of an infected person, either by coughing and sneezing, or by touching contaminated surfaces. Here are some helpful hygiene reminders on how to protect yourselves from Covid-19 amid the latest wave. 

Personal hygiene

Helpful hygiene reminders during the next wave of Covid-19

Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth. Wash your hands before touching your face. When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue, rather than your hands. Dispose of the used tissues as soon as possible. Maintain a distance of at least one meter from those who are coughing or sneezing.

Wash your hands after blowing your nose, sneezing into a tissue, using the restroom, leaving and returning home, preparing or eating meals, putting on make-up, handling contact lenses, and so on. If using a hand sanitiser, make sure it contains at least 60% alcohol. Massage hands together for 20 to 30 seconds, or until hands feel dry. 

Simple soap and water will suffice if you wash for at least 20 seconds. Cold water and warm water are equally effective at killing germs and viruses — as long as you wash your hands the right way!

Food packaging and handling precautions 

Helpful hygiene reminders during the next wave of Covid-19

It is possible that people can become infected by touching a virus-infected surface or object and then touching their face. Being in close contact with other individuals while outdoors, grocery shopping or receiving a meal delivery poses a risk. As always, good cleanliness and hygiene are essential while handling food to avoid contamination. 

Remove any excess packaging and place it in a rubbish bin with a cover. Remove food from the take-away container, place it on a clean plate and discard the container. Cans, for example, can be cleaned with a disinfectant before being opened or stored. Carefully wash unpackaged products, such as fruits and vegetables, under running water. 

Household hygiene

Helpful hygiene reminders during the next wave of Covid-19

Be sure to regularly clean and disinfect all high-touch surfaces and objects in your house. These include door handles, window handles, tables, chairs, taps, fridge doors, cupboard doors, switches, towels, electronic gadgets, remote controls, game controllers and toys. Open your windows to ensure good ventilation throughout the house.

Use alcohol-based cleaning products or find ones that have been proven to kill viruses and bacteria. Regular dishwashing liquid is effective at killing viruses, so it is safe to use on dishes and kitchen counters. Bleach and harsh disinfectants can be used, but do not pour them onto any surfaces that will be used to prepare food. Do not use vinegar and other homemade cleaning products as these are not effective.

Do not wipe away cleaning products as soon as they have been applied to surfaces. Let them sit for a few minutes. Remove your shoes and change into clean clothes when you get home after being in a public space. Try to avoid shaking dirty laundry as this could disperse the virus through the air. Wash and disinfect your laundry bag or basket too.

These helpful hygiene reminders should help you to stay protected, not just during the latest wave but also at all times. Misinformation about the virus is increasing, putting everyone at risk and adding to the stress of trying to separate fact from fiction. If you want to get in touch with a professional cleaning company to help you sanitise your home or office, then do so.

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Written by Kate Hawthorne

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