What can be done by individuals if COVID-19 reaches Alaska and starts circulating throughout the state? What if there’s someone sick at home? Now is a good time to start spring cleaning to prevent spread of illness, such as the flu or coronavirus. It is still unknown how long the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can survive on surfaces. Studies with similar viruses have shown that a clean environment can significantly decrease the amount of virus on hard surfaces.
Cleaning several times throughout the day will help keep germs and bacteria under control in high traffic areas. Wipe down the doorknobs, handrails, toilet seats, light switches, phones, countertops, refrigerator handles, remotes, and children’s toys. It is also a good practice to switch out dish cloths and hand towels daily, and wash everything in hot water when possible. It is also recommended to wash bedding once a week in hot water.
Even wiping down surfaces with soap and water may kill the virus. COVID-19 has a lipid envelope around it and soap is a detergent that can break down lipids. When cleaning the house, workspace, vehicle, or any other environment, follow disinfectant directions according to the label. Most disinfectant products need to saturate the surface for several minutes to fully sanitize.