Disinfect your house.jpgBy Veran Hill                                                                                                                                                                                                       Fort Jackson Public Affairs

While we’re all washing our hands, keeping our distance from the masses and spending more time than ever at home, we should also focus on cleaning and disinfecting our homes.  This is paramount to combat the spread of Novel Coronavirus.  

As we face-off with COVID-19, many have amped up their typical cleaning routines.

“With everything going on, the first thing I do (when going home) is remove my uniform and place it in the washing machine. I Lysol my boots and other items I have carried with me throughout the day,” said Sgt. 1st Class Marco Moreno, operations non-commissioned officer-in-charge with the 3rd Battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment. “I will go through my house with Lysol spray and sanitize anything that I may have touched from the door to my shower.”   

 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces and items in your home every day.  The CDC’s definition of cleaning is the removal of germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces; while, disinfecting refers to using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces.

“The cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is the best practice measure for the prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in your households,” said Cpt. Dixon Irizarry-Negron, the Fort Jackson Moncrief Army Health Clinic’s Chief, Environmental Health.

An example of frequently touched items or surfaces include: tables tops, hard-backed chairs, desks, keyboards, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, phones, toilets, faucets, sinks, touch screens, remote controls and electronics. 

Before cleaning and disinfecting anything, make sure you are wearing gloves and have good ventilation during the use of the cleaning and disinfecting products.

Clean highly touched areas or items with soap/detergent and water.  

After cleaning, disinfect areas or items with one of the products from the EPA-registered household disinfectants list N: Disinfectants for Use AgainstSARS-CoV-2.  The list is located at:    https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2

All disinfecting product labels contain instructions for safe and effective use, it’s highly recommended that you follow them. Ensure that your disinfecting product is not past its expiration date and follow the recommended time to leave the product on a surface.    

Nelson explains, “Disinfecting aims to limit the survival of any disease in the environment.  It’s vital to reduce the probability of an infection and enhances the safety of your Family members.”

Follow the manufacturer’s instruction when cleaning and disinfecting your electronics.

If cleaning and disinfecting your home with a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 person, the person should stay in a specific room away from others in the home.  Clean their area as-needed to avoid unnecessary contact.  If a separate bathroom is not available for the ill person, the bathroom should be cleaned and disinfected after each use.  When handling dirty laundry of an ill person, use gloves, clean and disinfect the clothes hampers as directed above.  Dispose of gloves each time you clean for the ill person.  Avoid sharing household items, dishes, towels, and bedding with the ill person. 

For more information on cleaning and disinfecting your home or extra steps when someone suspected or confirmed with COVID-19, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/disinfecting-your-home.html; and https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/care-for-someone.html