Dr. Harmon says it’s important people regularly clean and disinfect high-touch items in their homes, too. In addition, if you venture out, you can take steps to protect yourself, such as:
- Regularly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or, if soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. Avoid touching your face as much as possible.
- Don’t use your fingertips, which people tend to use to touch their face, to push buttons or pull doorknobs. Instead, use your knuckle to push buttons and your elbow to open doors.
- Use paper towels or tissue as a barrier when touching handrails, toilet handles, gas pumps and other high-touch items. Throw them away immediately after use.
- Keep your cell phone in your purse or pocket to avoid placing it on a potentially contaminated surface. Clean your cell phone often using a microfiber cloth and mild soap and water.
- Use a pen or other item to press buttons on ATMs or grocery store pin pads.
Of course, Dr. Harmon says, it’s also important to follow social distancing guidelines when out in public and wear a face covering or mask in places, such as the grocery store or pharmacy, where social distancing is difficult.
Be sure to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow if you need to cough or sneeze.
If you exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever, cough and chills, don’t venture out. Take the the no-cost MUSC Health virtual screening tool at muschealth.org to help determine if you need to make an appointment with a care provider. If you need follow-up care, you will be contacted by a local care provider to schedule an appointment.
In the alternative, you can call your family medicine physician and schedule an appointment, or call 1-866-TIDELANDS for helping finding a provider. In an emergency, always call 911.