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Social Distancing, the new normal

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Community News & People in the News, Featured

Published on May 17, 2020 with No Comments

A Few Important Reminders:

Coronaviruses and Reducing the Risk of Exposure: 

  • Coronaviruses on surfaces and objects naturally die within hours to days. Warmer temperatures and exposure to sunlight will reduce the time the virus survives on surfaces and objects.
  • Normal routine cleaning with soap and water removes germs and dirt from surfaces. It lowers the risk of spreading COVID-19 infection.
  • Disinfectants kill germs on surfaces. By killing germs on a surface after cleaning, you can further lower the risk of spreading infection. EPA-approved disinfectants are an important part of reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19. If disinfectants on this list are in short supply, alternative disinfectants can be used (for example, 1/3 cup of bleach added to 1 gallon of water, or 70% alcohol solutions).  Bleach solutions will be effective for disinfection up to 24 hours.
  • Store and use disinfectants in a responsible and appropriate manner according to the label.  Do not mix bleach or other cleaning and disinfection products together–this can cause fumes that may be very dangerous to breathe in. Keep all disinfectants out of the reach of children.
  • Do not overuse or stockpile disinfectants or other supplies.  This can result in shortages of appropriate products for others to use in critical situations.
  • Always wear gloves appropriate for the chemicals being used when you are cleaning and disinfecting. Additional personal protective equipment (PPE) may be needed based on setting and product.
  • Practice social distancing, wear facial coverings, and follow proper prevention hygiene, such as washing your hands frequently and using alcohol-based (at least 60% alcohol) hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available. 

Maintain safe behavioral practices:

 We have all had to make significant behavioral changes to reduce the spread of COVID-19. To reopen America, we will need to continue these practices:

  • Social distancing (specifically, staying 6 feet away from others when you must go into a shared space)
  • Frequently washing hands or use alcohol-based (at least 60% alcohol) hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available
  • Wearing cloth face coverings
  • Avoiding touching eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Staying home when sick
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces

It’s important to continue to follow local guidance for reopening America.

The area outdoors? 

Outdoor areas generally require normal routine cleaning and do not require disinfection. Spraying disinfectant on sidewalks and in parks is not an efficient use of disinfectant supplies and has not been proven to reduce the risk of COVID-19 to the public. You should maintain existing cleaning and hygiene practices for outdoor areas.

The targeted use of disinfectants can be done effectively, efficiently and safely on outdoor hard surfaces and objects frequently touched by multiple people. Certain outdoor areas and facilities, may have additional requirements.

There is no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 can spread directly to humans from water in pools, hot tubs or spas, or water play areas. Proper operation, maintenance, and disinfection (for example, with chlorine or bromine) of pools, hot tubs or spas, and water playgrounds should kill the virus that causes COVID-19. However, there are additional concerns with outdoor areas that may be maintained less frequently, including playgrounds, or other facilities located within local, state, or national parks.

Remember: “Carry-in, Carry-out” with your trash and other items you bring with you!

Frequently Touched Surfaces?

Examples of frequently touched surfaces and objects that will need routine disinfection following reopening are:

  • tables,
  • doorknobs,
  • light switches,
  • countertops,
  • handles,
  • desks,
  • phones,
  • keyboards,
  • toilets,
  • faucets and sinks,
  • gas pump handles,
  • touch screens, and
  • ATM machines

Each business or facility will have different surfaces and objects that are frequently touched by multiple people. Appropriately disinfect these surfaces and objects.

Reopening America requires all of us to move forward together using recommended best practices and maintaining safe daily habits in order to reduce our risk of exposure to COVID-19. For more information and updated guidelines, visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.

Remember: We’re all in this together!

 

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