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Coronavirus (Covid-19): Personal Precautions

Coronavirus (Covid-19): Personal Precautions

Coronavirus is spread in large droplets by coughing and sneezing. The air will not infect you, but all surfaces where droplets land are infectious for about a week on average – everything that is associated with infected people will be contaminated and potentially infectious. The virus is on surfaces and you will not be infected unless your unprotected face is directly coughed or sneezed upon. This virus only infects your lungs. The only way for the virus to infect you is through your nose or mouth via your hands or an infected cough or sneeze onto or into your nose or mouth.

  • No handshaking or hugging! Use a fist bump, slight bow, or elbow bump.
  • Stop touching your nose and mouth 90x/day.
  • Use only your knuckle to touch light switches. elevator buttons, etc. Lift gas pumps with a paper towel.
  • Open doors with your closed fist or hip – don’t grasp the handle with your hand.
  • Use disinfectant wipes at stores when available, including wiping the handle and child seat in grocery carts.
  • Wash your hands with soap for 10-20 seconds and/or use a greater than 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer whenever you return home from places where other people have been.
  • Keep a bottle of sanitizer available at each of your home’s entrances and in your car for use after getting gas or touching other contaminated objects when you can’t immediately wash your hands.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily (tables, countertops, light switches, doorknobs, and cabinet handles) using household detergent and water.
  • Cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue and discard. Use your elbow only if you have to. The clothing on your elbow will contain infectious virus that can be passed on for up to a week.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.


  • Latex or nitrile latex disposable gloves for use when going shopping, using gas pumps, and all other outside activity when you come in contact with possible contaminated areas.
  • Hand sanitizers – alcohol-based and greater than 60% alcohol.
  • Zinc lozenges – proven to be effective in blocking coronavirus (and most other viruses) from multiplying in your throat and nasopharynx.
[source: James Robb, MD, FCAP, Molecular Virologist, Professor of Pathology, UCSD and]

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