As the temperatures begin to fall this autumn, it’s likely more people will be spending time indoors. Some children will be returning to school, and some workers will be returning to their on-site offices. This, combined with many states moving forward with reopening plans, is cause for concern when it comes to COVID. Each of these factors increase the risk of COVID’s spread, and therefore, taking some precautions is certainly reasonable.
The problem is that knowing what is reasonable and what is not can be challenging. COVID proofing your home may sound like a great idea, but where do you start? Some virus protection measures are absolutely worth employing, but others offer little benefit. And some may actually pose some risks to your family. Therefore, knowing best practices in COVID proofing your home is important. The following offers some guidance in that regard that will help you reduce your chances for infection significantly.
Virus Prevention Measures at the Point of Entry
One of the most important virus prevention measures involves reducing entry of COVID into your home. As your family ventures outside more this winter, the chances of coming into contact with the virus will increase. In an effort to reduce these risks, several COVID proofing strategies can be used. For one, you should consider establishing a disinfection room for everyone as they enter the house. Hand-washing for 20 seconds with soap and water and spraying clothes with a disinfectant spray can be part of this. Likewise, your family should also take off their shoes in an effort to reduce infection risks as well.
Other items may also enter your home and carry risks of spreading the virus. Therefore, additional virus prevention measures should also include washing produce and disinfecting delivered packages. Also, deliveries should be left outside on the doorstep, and payments should be performed online along with any tip. By employing these COVID proofing ideas, you can reduce the opportunity for viral particles to enter your home. This represents the first layer of protection that can lead to a safer home environment.
COVID-Proofing Cleaning Routines to Consider
The next layer of protection to think about in COVID proofing your home for the winter involves cleaning rituals. By creating some important routines, you further reduce your family’s chances of being exposed to the virus. Naturally, this involves your cleaning routines. Virus prevention measures should certainly include more frequent cleaning of common surfaces. Likewise, an EPA-approved disinfectant should be used when doing so. This is especially important if friends and other guests come over to your home. In these instances, cleaning before and after their visit is encouraged.
In addition to these cleaning routines, laundry should also be done more frequently. As your family ventures outside more, it’s important to wash clothes more regularly. Warm or hot water is recommended, and event eh laundry hamper should be routinely disinfected. Likewise, ample hand-washing towels should be available wherever a sink is used. This encourages frequent hand-washing even after your family have entered the house. In essence, towels and quick disinfectant wipes promote better routines for the entire family. Before long, these cleaning rituals will become habits they will want to perform even when they’re not at home.
Preventing Spread of COVID in the Air
It’s clear that COVID best spreads through the air as aerosolized droplets according to experts. Therefore, virus protection measures should also include strategies to avoid the spread of COVID through the air of your home. It’s important to appreciate that the goal is to increase the air flow rate in your home. At the same time, you will also want to filter the air of viral particles using reasonable approaches. Achieving this completely isn’t feasible. But taking some simple measures can help greatly in COVID proofing your home this winter.
With this in mind, open or crack the windows of your home whenever it’s practical based on the weather outside. Not only will this help improve fresh air flow but also permit some sunlight UV rays to enter your home. You may also consider a portable air filter that plugs into a normal electrical outlet. These are reasonably priced, and they can reduce the number of viral particles as well. Finally, air filters do help as a virus prevention measure. A MERV-11 air filter reduces viral particles as much as 60 percent. Combined with your other COVID proofing strategies, these are reasonable measures to consider.
One additional point needs to be made when it comes to virus prevention measures related to your home’s ventilation. While the above strategies are reasonable, other gimmicks are not. For example, avoid exotic filters that have unsupported claims. These have yet to be proven safe, and they may offer no advantages whatsoever. Likewise, humidifiers and ultraviolet (UV) systems are poorly effective in fighting COVID in homes. Effective UV and humidifier systems are expensive and require expert installations. As a result, these measures are not likely something you’ll want to consider.
Personal Protective Equipment and Common Sense
All the previous virus prevention measures offer a series of protections against the spread of COVID. However, social distancing and the use of face masks are still the best approach. Naturally, this is not something you will routinely do in your home around your family. However, it might be reasonable to consider if you have several guests over at one time. In addition, should anyone have some type of illness, face masks and distancing are strongly encouraged. If contact in your home is unavoidable, these offer the best options at deterring the spread.
Ultimately, it boils down to some common sense measures when COVID proofing your home. Hand-washing, disinfecting, and reducing contacts are the priorities. These combined with the practical efforts to improve your home’s ventilation are your best bet. And of course, if anyone in your home should have symptoms, seeking medical care quickly is important. While none of these approaches will be completely effective in COVID proofing your home this winter, each helps. And together, they will make a difference in reducing your risks for COVID.
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