RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The novel coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19 virus, is now in 12 U.S. states and the CDC believes we may see it spreading further.
If it affects your community, the CDC says the outbreak could last for a long time.
Depending on the severity of the outbreak, public health officials may recommend community actions designed to help keep people healthy.
If the virus reaches pandemic proportions, you’re going to need to make changes to your ordinary, day-to-day activities in order to avoid becoming infected.
Here are 10 steps you’ll need to take to make sure you can avoid catching the virus.
1. When you’re out shopping, use disinfectant wipes to clean the handle of the shopping cart, as well as the child seat.
2. When you’re out in public and believe you are touching contaminated surfaces like an ATM keypad, use gloves to make sure you’re not going to contaminate yourself.
3. Keep gloves on until you know you’re in a place where you won’t be contaminated again.
4. Before you touch the gas pump, use a paper towel if they supply them or use disposable gloves to lift the handle up and put it in the tank — because lots of people touch pumps.
5. Keep a supply of disposable tissues for sneezing or coughing because if you sneeze into your elbow, the germs will collect on the cloth and could stay active for up to a week.
6. When you meet someone, handshaking is out. Do a fist bump, elbow knock or a slight bow instead.
7. If you’re using a hand sanitizer, make sure it’s one that has 60 percent alcohol or more otherwise it won’t be effective enough to kill the virus.
8. When you’re going inside, never grasp a door handle. Slide your arm through the handle, and use your foot or elbow to keep the door open as you pass through.
9. When it comes to light switches, elevator buttons and the like, don’t use your fingertips to touch them. Use your knuckle instead.
10. When it comes to washing your hands make sure you do it for 10-20 seconds all over your hands and in between the fingers — especially if you’ve been places where other people could have contaminated surfaces.
It might be a good idea to start buying some of those supplies now, before things get critical.
Stock up on disposable gloves, tissues, and hand sanitizer.
Don’t wait till the last minute or it’ll be like going to the store right before a snowstorm to buy bread and milk — the shelves will be empty.
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