MASON COUNTY — The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers advice and tips for protecting you and your family during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Everyone is asked to stay home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, but there are essential errands that need to be done — such as grocery shopping, take-out, banking, getting gas and going to the doctor, according to the CDC.
The top advice that is true for all types essential travel is to stay home if you are sick or have symptoms — which include fever, cough or shortness of breath.
The CDC recommends ordering online or selecting curbside pick up when shopping for food and other household essentials. They suggest only vising the grocery store when you absolutely need to.
While out shopping, the CDC says to stay at least six feet from others, cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face covering, go during hours when fewer people will be there, such as morning or night. They also say to disinfect the shopping cart, do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth, and to pay using a touch-less payment if possible — if you must use money or a card, use hand sanitizer immediately after paying.
The CDC says to use hand sanitizer after leaving the store and to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when you get home.
Although the CDC says there is no evidence of food or food packaging being linking to getting sick with COVID-19, you still need to follow the food safety guidelines to clean, separate, cook or chill foods.
Mason County Health Department Director Jennifer Thomas, RN, also reminds people to only send one person from the family out to do the grocery shopping.
“We notice that entire families, even ones with small babies, are out shopping,” Thomas said. “If at all possible, do not take children with you.”
For deliveries and takeout orders, limit the in-person contact as much as possible. This can be done by paying online or on the phone when possible and to accept the deliveries without any contact, such as the delivery person leaving them outside of the house. After accepting deliveries and mail, the CDC says you should wash your hands.
When getting gasoline, the CDC recommends using gloves or disinfecting wipes on handles and buttons before touching them. After fueling, use hand sanitizer and then wash your hands when you get home.
The CDC also notes that hand sanitizer should be at least 60% alcohol.
Thomas said to pay special attention to gas pumps, door handles and ATMs.
The CDC said these tips will limit your potential exposure to others and the virus that causes COVID-19.
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Kayla Hawthorne is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, ext. 1992.