CORONAVIRUS

Health officials give advice on living with and cleaning after COVID-19

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – With COVID-19 cases at an all time high in our state, many Oklahomans are now facing the disease in their own homes.

Most try to social distance and wear mask in public, but what happens if there is a coronavirus-positive person in your house?

“We know there are people that stay in the same home and don’t get infected,” said Dr. Andrea Scott, with Infectious Disease at Integris Health. 

Infectious disease doctors say the best way to do that…

“Stay separated as much as possible,” said Scott.

That means the COVID-positive person should use a separate bedroom and bathroom if possible.

“This person should be trying to stay, obviously, out of those common areas,” said Courtney Barner, Family Nurse Practitioner.

But if they can’t stay out of the common areas, clean and disinfect electronics, door knobs, and hard surfaces- especially in the kitchen- three times a day.

For soft surfaces, like sofas and furniture, try to cover them.

“Those obviously make me nervous as far as sharing that sort of thing because you are worried about the virus not being able to be killed on it with some of your standard cleaners. So you are probably going to get your best bet with using some of the aerosol type cleaners on those,” said Scott.

Experts say both healthy and sick people should wear a mask if in the same room.

“If you could open a window, if that’s possible, it’s something that could help get that air circulating,” said Barnes.

Make sure that trashcans have liners for contaminated items.

When it’s time to do the laundry, keep the sick person’s items separate.

“If you can use warmer water or hotter water than go ahead and do that. Dry in a dryer as hot as you can have it for the garments,” said Scott.

Officials say if you have the means to leave, it is the safest option.

“You can move out, if that’s a possibility, especially for people with higher risk conditions,” said Scott.

But if you did leave, when is it safe to move back in?

“The person is no longer considered contagious after they have three days without fever and 10 days after their symptoms started,” said Barnes.

Experts say in that case, the sick person should be feeling better enough to clean the house thoroughly before healthy people come back in.

Doctors tell KFOR professional house disinfecting is an option if you can afford it, but usually standard, store-bought cleaners do the job.

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