Do Your Part to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

Sarah McNab, Manager of Communications - In recent days, it may seem as though all anyone can talk about is the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Whether you’re scrolling through social media, are in line at the grocery store stocking up on supplies or sitting around the lunch table, chances are that at some point, the conversation will turn to the latest update on the virus that is impacting hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. While it might be tempting to bury our heads in the sand, especially as we become more and more inundated with information, it’s critical that we stay informed using relevant, factual sources, so that we can all do our part to help contain the spread of the virus and flatten the curve.

We’ve been told that the best defenses against COVID-19 include avoiding touching our faces (something that is proving to be very difficult for many of us!) and frequent handwashing with soap and water. Hand hygiene with plain soap and warm water is preferred, as the mechanical action of hand washing is effective at removing visible soil, as well as microbes. In instances where hand washing sinks are not available, the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers containing at least 60 per cent alcohol may be considered. Individuals should clean their hands:

  • Before leaving home and on arrival at work;
  • After using the toilet;
  • After breaks and sporting activities;
  • Before food preparation;
  • Before eating any food, including snacks;
  • After contact with saliva or nasal secretions; and
  • Before using shared materials.

We’ve also been advised to minimize contact with people who are displaying flu-like symptoms, avoid international travel and practice social distancing:

  • Maintaining a 1-2 metre (3-6 feet) distance from other people;
  • If possible, limiting or considering cancelling group gatherings;
  • Holding virtual meetings instead of in person; and
  • Spending time outside.

But are there other things we could be doing? CNET offers some easy, practical tips that we can all implement to help contain the spread of COVID-19:

Give your fingertips a break – use your elbow, foot or shoulder to open doors and put your knuckles to work pushing keypads or turning on lights.

Limit handshakes and hugs – even if you feel fine and aren’t exhibiting symptoms, this can help to prevent the spread of germs to immunosuppressed individuals who are most at risk.

Keep an “i” on your Phone – be mindful of where you are setting your phone down and disinfect it often.

Arm yourself with supplies – carry extra tissues and disinfectant wipes with you.

Go green at the grocery store – bring your own reusable shopping bags to minimize the number of hands on your purchases.

And stay clean while you’re at it – use mesh produce bags as a glove to select your fruits and vegetables, and wash them well as soon as you get them home.

Stay clear of cash – it’s been said that paper money can carry more germs than a toilet, so try and limit handling cash as much as possible.

Don’t invite germs inside – wash your hands as soon as you get home and consider buying an automatic soap dispenser, so you don't have to worry about transferring germs to the pump.

If you have any other practical tips for staying healthy, please share your comments below.