While there currently aren’t any super-specific laundry guidelines for people who have been social distancing for a while now, if it gives you peace of mind to follow these laundry rules even with clothes you’ve only worn inside, we don’t see any harm.
As for smaller items like wallets, purses, and tote bags, the CDC doesn’t have specific laundering recommendations, but cleaning and disinfecting them according to the manufacturers’ instructions can help lower their germ load. When handling an item that you can’t clean easily, the best practice is to wash your hands when you’re done or use hand sanitizer when handwashing isn’t an option.Do I need to clean every package and item that comes into my home?
Based on what we know right now, there is evidence that the new coronavirus can hang out on cardboard surfaces, like the ones your delivered delights probably come in. There isn’t any official guidance from the CDC on whether or not you need to disinfect packages before they enter your home, but if it makes you feel better to do so, then by all means, wipe packages down with disinfectant wipes.
Additionally, food and food packaging haven’t been known to cause any reported cases of the new coronavirus, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. To combat the overall risk of contracting any virus (including SARS-CoV-2), the FDA recommends that you clean, separate, cook, and chill your food. (You can find more information about those steps in our story about how to prevent getting a foodborne illness when you’re cooking.)What if someone has been in my house? Do I need to clean again?
This seems like a great opportunity to plug social distancing. Since the new coronavirus spreads easily from person to person, public health experts are suggesting you put distance between yourself and others outside your home to limit spreading the virus within communities.
While a cute little kickback at home sounds fun, social distancing includes limiting visitors whenever possible. (Yes, even if none of you seems to have new coronavirus symptoms—there is some evidence that people who don’t have symptoms can spread the illness, which essentially means all of us can spread the illness, TBH.) That said, if someone who doesn’t live with you does need to stop by for some reason, clean those high-touch areas that we mentioned above after they’ve left, like doorknobs and the backs of chairs, along with anything else you noticed them coming into contact with.How do I clean if someone in my house has the new coronavirus?
If someone in your home has new coronavirus symptoms, there are a few special things you should do in terms of cleaning.
First, though, we need to talk about the fact that you’re probably scared, which is the most understandable thing in the world right now. Here are signs it’s time to seek emergency care for someone with the new coronavirus, if having that knowledge might help you feel more secure. We also have some tips for dealing with new coronavirus anxiety, although, granted, caring for someone with the disease puts you in an especially stressful situation. Finally, when it comes to cleaning, know that you can still try to take steps to reduce the risk of getting the virus yourself, even if you’re caring for someone with COVID-19.
The biggest step, which can be hard physically and emotionally, is to cut back on contact with them as much as you can, the CDC says. That means, if possible, you should designate a separate room for your loved one to rest and recover in without potentially spreading the illness. Ideally, there should be a bathroom only they use, as well. We know: A separate bedroom and bathroom is a luxury a lot of us don’t have. At least try to carve out an area for them to spend most of their time in, even if you live together in a studio apartment.