How should I clean food items from the grocery store, for example fruit, vegetables or packaged items?There is no evidence to date of viruses that cause respiratory illnesses being transmitted via food or food packaging. Coronaviruses cannot multiply in food; they need an animal or human host to multiply. The COVID-19 virus is generally thought to be spread from person to person through respiratory droplets. Currently, there is no evidence to support transmission of the COVID-19 virus associated with food. Before preparing or eating food it is important to always wash your hands with soap and water for at least 40-60 seconds. Regular food safety and handling guidance should be followed.
Are gloves recommended for the community in public spaces to protect against COVID-19, for example when going to the grocery store supermarket?No. The use of gloves by the public in public spaces is not a recommended or proven prevention measure. Wearing gloves in public spaces does not replace the need for hand hygiene, nor does it offer any additional measure of protection against the COVID-19 virus than hand hygiene. Gloves do not provide complete protection against hand contamination, as pathogens may gain access to the hands via small defects in gloves or by contamination of the hands during glove removal. People can also transfer pathogens from one surface to another by touching with gloved hands, or even transfer pathogens to the mouth, nose, or eyes if they touch their face with gloved hands.
What are the recommended practices once back home after outdoor activities?Thorough hand hygiene: washing hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand gel, should be performed before touching surfaces, items, pets, and people within the household environment. Please see: https://www.who.int/gpsc/clean_hands_protection/en/. While outside, people should always follow physical distancing measures, staying at least one metre from another person; perform hand hygiene by washing hands frequently with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub; follow good respiratory hygiene by covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing; avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth; and avoid crowded places.
What protection measures should people take when using disinfectants?It is important to reduce your risk when using disinfectants:
- The disinfectant and its concentration should be carefully selected to avoid damaging surfaces and to avoid or minimize toxic effects on household members (or users of public spaces).
- Avoid combining disinfectants, such as bleach and ammonia, since mixtures can cause respiratory irritation and release potentially fatal gases.
- Keep children, pets and other people away during the application of the product until it is dry and there is no odour.
- Open windows and use fans to ventilate. Step away from odours if they become too strong. Disinfectant solutions should always be prepared in well-ventilated areas.
- Wash your hands after using any disinfectant, including surface wipes.
- Keep lids tightly closed when not in use. Spills and accidents are more likely to happen when containers are open.
- Do not allow children to use disinfectant wipes. Keep cleaning fluids and disinfectants out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away disposable items like gloves and masks if they are used during cleaning. Do not clean and re-use.
- Do not use disinfectant wipes to clean hands or as baby wipes.
- The minimum recommended personal protective equipment when disinfecting in non-health care settings is rubber gloves, waterproof aprons and closed shoes. Eye protection and medical masks may also be needed to protect against chemicals in use or if there is a risk of splashing.