Environmental hygiene measures
The transmission of COVID-19 can also occur indirectly from contaminated surfaces, so in addition to taking personal hygiene measures, you should also reinforce your care with environmental hygiene. Remember that people who come into contact with potentially infectious surfaces often also come into close contact with the infected person, making it difficult to distinguish the mode of contamination.
Therefore, you must clean and disinfect places or materials that may be contaminated with the virus, thus avoiding the risk of spreading it to you or others.
One of the environmental hygiene measures is DOMESTIC DISINFECTION:
Bleach is a strong household disinfectant whose main ingredient is sodium hypochlorite, which is effective in eliminating SARS-CoV-2. Its use must be careful, since in high concentrations it can be harmful to the user, in addition to polluting the environment:
- It must be diluted in cold water, since hot water makes it ineffective and increases its volatility, that is, it makes it easier to change from a liquid to a gaseous form, promoting the release of toxic gases;
- When applying bleach, or another similar product, you should take into account what is recommended in the product's safety data sheet, namely opening the windows to air and renew the air, avoiding breathing the bleach and contact with eyes and skin, helping also to dry surfaces more quickly;
- Disinfection with bleach is especially important in places where a person with COVID-19 is present;
- For use in the home of a person with COVID-19, dilute 1 part bleach (with an original concentration of 5%) in 99 equal parts of water, that is, 4 teaspoons of bleach in 1 liter of water .
All surfaces can be vehicles of contagion. However, the risk varies depending on the frequency of handling, touching or use:
- You must clean and decontaminate areas of frequent contact, such as door handles, handrails, light switches, controls or keyboards;
- Food preparation areas and sanitary facilities must also be regularly decontaminated;
- Cleaning should always be carried out from top to bottom and from the cleanest to the dirtiest areas;
- Start by washing with household detergent and then apply bleach diluted in water, leaving it to act for 10 minutes. In the case of a house in which none of the cohabitants are infected, it is not strictly necessary to use bleach;
- The greater the frequency of manipulation, the greater the frequency of decontamination.
Another environmental hygiene measure is the washing clothes:
The survival time of SARS-CoV-2 in different clothing materials is still uncertain. However, there are certain precautions you can take to prevent possible transmission through these means. It is only necessary to decontaminate the clothing in the following cases:
- Patient with COVID-19;
- Caregiver of sick people with COVID-19;
- Healthcare professional;
- Other people who may have been in contact with contaminated people or surfaces.
In these cases, when putting clothes to be washed, you should:
- Avoid shaking off dirty clothes;
- Carefully read the indications on the clothing label to know the precautions you should take; • Wash preferably in the machine, with the highest temperature possible (at least at 60ºC for 30 minutes, or between 80-90ºC, for 10 minutes to decontaminate through the temperature);
- If it is not possible to wash at high temperatures and you need to decontaminate your clothes, use a disinfectant product for clothes (such as bleach). There are disinfectant products suitable for colored clothing.
IF YOU USE A PUBLIC LAUNDRY YOU MUST: • Organize your clothes before going to the laundry, so that you only need to put them in the machine when you are on site;
- Folding clean clothes at home, to reduce the time spent in the laundry and the number of surfaces you touch;
- Use handkerchiefs or a hand sanitizer to clean machine handles and knobs before using them or, if the laundry has a sink, wash your hands with soap after touching the machines;
- Keep a distance of 1.5-2 meters, or wait outside or elsewhere if there are other people in the laundry;
- If you have symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, such as fever, cough or difficulty breathing, you should not go to public places.