CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) INFORMATION

QUICK REFERENCE

- Cough
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Fever
- Chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
- Nausea or vomiting
- Diarrhoea
- Fatigue, weakness or tiredness

- Isolate yourself at home
- Visit your local healthcare facility or Doctor as soon as possible.
- Ensure you have a contact tracing list where you can list all the people you have been in contact with and the places you have been during the last 14 days. 

- Follow the directions of your local healthcare facility or Doctor.
- Those with whom you live or work, are advised to seek advice from their local healthcare provider or Doctor as they too will most probably be sent for testing.
- You will either be told to isolate yourself at home during your illness if your condition allows it, placed in a quarantine facility if directed by the government, or placed in high care or ICU in a hospital if your condition is severe.


If you isolate at home:

- Avoid contact with others in your home as much as possible, 

- Stay alone in a separate room and do not leave that room unless for emergency reasons or to use the bathroom if you do not have a separate bathroom. Remember to wipe any areas you touch,
- Use disposable eating utensils and disposable plates and cups,
- Wear a mask as much as possible and sanitise often,
- Any family member 

- Spreads mainly from person to person, mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
- These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
- You can also get infected if you touch a surface that has the virus on it and then touch your nose or mouth. 

- Wash your hands often with soap and water or use hand sanitiser.
- Avoid close contact with others, especially those who are sick, i.e. practice social distancing.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a facemask or other cloth covering.
- Cover coughs and sneezes.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces often.
- Monitor your health. 

CORONAVIRUS DISEASE

1.

What is the novel coronavirus?

A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.

2.

Why is the disease being called coronavirus disease 2019, COVID-19?

On February 11, 2020 the World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease that is causing the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak, first identified in Wuhan, China. The new name of this disease is coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. In COVID-19, ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV”.

There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused be a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans. The name of this disease was selected following the World Health Organization (WHO) best practice for naming of new human infectious diseases. 

3.

Why might someone blame or avoid individuals and groups (create stigma) because of COVID-19?

South Africans may be worried or anxious about friends and relatives who are living in or visiting areas where COVID-19 is spreading. Some people are worried about getting the disease from these people. Fear and anxiety can lead to social stigma, for example, toward people who live in certain parts of the world, people who have travelled internationally, people who live in COVID-19 hotspots, people who were in quarantine, or healthcare professionals.

Stigma is discrimination against an identifiable group of people, a place, or a nation. Stigma is associated with a lack of knowledge about how COVID-19 spreads, a need to blame someone, fears about disease and death, and gossip that spreads rumours and myths.

Stigma hurts everyone by creating more fear or anger toward ordinary people instead of focusing on the disease that is causing the problem. 

4.

How can people help stop stigma related to COVID-19?

People can help fight stigma by providing social support in situations where you notice this is occurring. Stigma affects the emotional or mental health of stigmatised groups and the communities they live in. Stopping stigma is important to making communities and community members resilient. Everyone can help stop stigma related to COVID-19 by knowing the facts and sharing them with others in your community.

HOW COVID-19 SPREADS

COVID-19 is caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in people and many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people. This occurred with MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, and now with the virus that causes COVID-19. The SARS-CoV-2 virus is a betacoronavirus, like MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV. All three of these viruses have their origins in bats. Scientific investigations suggest a likely single, recent emergence of this virus from an animal reservoir. However, the exact source of this virus is unknown.

The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person to person, mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Spread is more likely when people are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet OR 1.8m).

COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in many affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected. 

The number of cases of COVID-19 being reported in South Africa is rising due to increased laboratory testing and reporting across the country. The growing number of cases in part reflects the rapid spread of COVID-19 as many provinces experience community spread. More detailed and accurate data will allow us to better understand and track the size and scope of the outbreak and strengthen prevention and response efforts.


The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading from person-to-person. People are thought to be most contagious when they are symptomatic (the sickest). That is why it is recommended that these patients be isolated either in the hospital or at home (depending on how sick they are) until they are better and no longer pose a risk of infecting others. More recently the virus has also been detected in asymptomatic persons.

How long someone is actively sick can vary so the decision on when to release someone from isolation is made using a test-based or non-test-based strategy (i.e. time since illness started and time since recovery) in consultation with public health officials. The decision involves considering the specifics of each situation, including disease severity, illness signs and symptoms, and the results of laboratory testing for that patient.

Someone who has been released from isolation is not considered to pose a risk of infection to others. 

Quarantine means separating a person or group of people who have been exposed to a contagious disease but have not developed illness (symptoms) from others who have not been exposed, in order to prevent the possible spread of that disease.

Quarantine is usually established for the incubation period of the communicable disease, which is the span of time during which people have developed illness after exposure. For COVID-19, the period of quarantine is 14 days from the last date of exposure because the incubation period for this virus is 2 to 14 days.

Someone who has been released from COVID-19 quarantine is not considered a risk for spreading the virus to others because they have not developed illness during the incubation period. 

Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread from person to person through respiratory droplets. Currently, there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food. Before preparing or eating food it is important to always wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds for general food safety.

Throughout the day use a tissue to cover your coughing or sneezing, and wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, or going to the bathroom.

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object, like a packaging container, that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from food products or packaging.

Based on information about this novel coronavirus thus far, it seems unlikely that COVID-19 can be transmitted through food – additional investigation is needed. 


It is not yet known whether weather and temperature affect the spread of COVID-19. Some other viruses, like those that cause the common cold and flu, spread more during cold weather months but that does not mean it is impossible to become sick with these viruses during other months. There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with COVID-19 and investigations are ongoing. 


Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected. 

Generally, coronaviruses survive for shorter periods at higher temperatures and higher humidity than in cooler or dryer environments.

However, we do not have direct data for this virus, nor do we have direct data for a temperature-based cutoff for inactivation at this point. The necessary temperature would also be based on the materials of the surface, the environment. 

At this time, there is no data to suggest that this new coronavirus or other similar coronaviruses are spread by mosquitoes or ticks. The main way that COVID-19 spreads is from person to person. 

HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF & OTHERS

Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease, HIV/AIDS or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing serious complications from COVID-19 illness.

o There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
o The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
o The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
 Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet OR 1.8m).
 Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
 These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
 Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.

• Wash your hands often
o Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
o If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitiser that contains at least 70% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
o Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

• Avoid close contact:
o Avoid close contact with people who are sick, even inside your home. If possible, maintain 6 feet (1.8m) between the person who is sick and other household members.
o Put distance between yourself and other people outside of your home.
 Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread virus.
 Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people.
 Do not gather in groups.
 Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings.
 Keeping distance from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.

• Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
o You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
o Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they must go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities.

 Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
o The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
o Do NOT use a facemask meant for a healthcare worker.
o Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.

• Cover coughs and sneezes
o If you are in a private setting and do not have on your cloth face covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
o Throw used tissues in the bin.
o Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitiser that contains at least 70% alcohol.

• Clean and disinfect
o Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, taps, and sinks.
o If surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
o Then, use a household disinfectant. Most common household disinfectants, like Jik or Handy Andy, will work.

• Monitor Your Health
o Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
 Especially important if you are running essential errands, going into the office or workplace, and in settings where it may be difficult to keep a physical distance of 6 feet.
o Take your temperature if symptoms develop.
 Do not take your temperature within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications that could lower your temperature, like acetaminophen. 

In light of data about how COVID-19 spreads, along with evidence of widespread COVID-19 illness in communities across the country, it is recommended that people wear a cloth face covering to cover their nose and mouth in the community setting. This is an additional public health measure people should take to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in addition to (not instead of) social distancing, frequent hand cleaning and other everyday preventive actions. A cloth face covering is not intended to protect the wearer but may prevent the spread of virus from the wearer to others. This would be especially important if someone is infected but does not have symptoms. A cloth face covering should be worn whenever people must go into public settings (grocery stores, for example). Medical masks and N-95 respirators are reserved for healthcare workers.


 It is important to continue taking care of your health and wellness. If you have a chronic health problem, you may be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Below are some things you can do to take care of your health during this time.
 Continue your medications, and do not change your treatment plan without talking to your healthcare provider.
 Continue to manage your disease the way your healthcare provider has told you.
 Have at least a 2-week supply of all prescription and non-prescription medications. Talk to your healthcare provider, medical aid, and pharmacist about getting an extra supply of prescription medications, if possible, to reduce trips to the pharmacy.
 Talk to your healthcare provider about whether your vaccinations are up to date. People aged 65 years or older, and those with some underlying medical conditions, are recommended receive vaccinations against influenza and pneumococcal disease as soon as your provider tells you that can.
 Call your healthcare provider
 if you have any concerns about your medical conditions, or if you get sick.
 to find out about different ways you can connect with your healthcare provider for chronic disease management or other conditions. Ask about phone calls, video appointments, use of the patient portal, emails, and mailings.
 Do not delay getting emergency care for your health problems or any health condition that requires immediate attention.
 If you need emergency help, call medical emergency services.
 Emergency departments at hospitals have infection prevention plans to protect you from getting COVID-19 if you need care for your medical condition.
 Continue to practice everyday prevention: wash your hands often, keep space between yourself and others, cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around other people, cover coughs and sneezes, and clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces often. 

There is still a lot that is unknown about COVID-19 and how it spreads. Coronaviruses are thought to be spread most often by respiratory droplets. Although the virus can survive for a short period on some surfaces, it is unlikely to be spread from domestic or international mail, products, or packaging. However, it may be possible that people can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. 

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) 

Based on available evidence, children do not appear to be at higher risk for COVID-19 than adults. While some children and infants have been sick with COVID-19, adults make up most of the known cases to date.

You can encourage your child to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by teaching them to do the same things everyone should do to stay healthy.
 Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
 Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
 Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw the tissue in the trash.
 Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
 If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with at least 70% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
 Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects (e.g., tables, countertops, light switches, doorknobs, and cabinet handles).
 Launder items, including washable plush toys, as appropriate and in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry items completely. Dirty laundry from an ill person can be washed with other people’s items.
 When children return to school, ensure they understand what they need to do to avoid becoming infected. If they do get infected, and have been at school, notify the school as soon as possible as contact tracing will have to be done. Ask the school if they can send homework and schoolwork to your child while that are at home.
 Discourage children and teens from gathering in public places while school is dismissed to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

No. The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar in children and adults. However, children with confirmed COVID-19 have generally presented with mild symptoms. Reported symptoms in children include cold-like symptoms, such as fever, runny nose, and cough. Vomiting and diarrhoea have also been reported. It is not known yet whether some children may be at higher risk for severe illness, for example, children with underlying medical conditions and special healthcare needs. There is much more to be learned about how the disease impacts children.


It is recommended that everyone 2 years and older wear a cloth face covering that covers their nose and mouth when they are out in the community. Cloth face coverings should NOT be put on babies or children younger than 2 because of the danger of suffocation. Children younger than 2 years of age are an exception as well as anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the face covering without assistance.

Wearing cloth face coverings is a public health measure people should take to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in addition to (not instead of) social distancing, frequent hand cleaning, and other everyday preventive actions. A cloth face covering is not intended to protect the wearer but may prevent the spread of virus from the wearer to others. This would be especially important if someone is infected but does not have symptoms. Medical face masks and N95 respirators are still reserved for healthcare personnel.

Outbreaks can be stressful for adults and children. Talk with your children about the outbreak, try to stay calm, and reassure them that they are safe. If appropriate, explain to them that most illness from COVID-19 seems to be mild. Children respond differently to stressful situations than adults.

This is a new virus and we are still learning about it, but so far, there does not seem to be a lot of illness in children. Most illness, including serious illness, is happening in adults of working age and older adults.  

PREPARING YOUR HOME AND FAMILY FOR COVID-19 

Create a household plan of action to help protect your health and the health of those you care about in the event of an outbreak of COVID-19 in your community:
 Talk with the people who need to be included in your plan, and discuss what to do if a COVID-19 outbreak occurs in your community.
 Plan ways to care for those who might be at greater risk for serious complications, particularly older adults and those with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease.
 Make sure they have access to several weeks of medications and supplies in case you need to stay home for prolonged periods of time.
 Get to know your neighbours and find out if your neighbourhood has a website or social media page to stay connected.
 Create a list of local organisations that you and your household can contact in the event you need access to information, healthcare services, support, and resources.
 Create an emergency contact list of family, friends, neighbours, carpool drivers, health care providers, teachers, employers, the local public health department, and other community resources.
 Maintain a list of people with whom you and your family come in contact with, in case you or someone else becomes infected, and contact tracing has to be done by government.

Practice everyday preventive actions to help reduce your risk of getting sick and remind everyone in your home to do the same. These actions are especially important for older adults and people who have severe chronic medical conditions:
 Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
 Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
 Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw the tissue in the trash.
 Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
 If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with at least 70% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
 Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects (e.g., tables, countertops, light switches, doorknobs, and cabinet handles).
 Launder items, including washable plush toys, as appropriate and in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry items completely. Dirty laundry from an ill person can be washed with other people’s items.

Most people who get COVID-19 will be able to recover at home.
 Stay home when you are sick and visit a Doctor as soon as possible to determine if you should be referred to a COVID-19 testing centre.
 When to Seek Emergency Medical Attention
 Look for emergency warning signs (This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you) for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately:
 Trouble breathing
 Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
 New confusion
 Inability to wake or stay awake
 Bluish lips or face
 Call emergency services: Notify them that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.
 Use a separate room and bathroom for sick household members (if possible).
 Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
 If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with at least 70% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
 Provide your sick household member with clean disposable facemasks to wear at home, if available, to help prevent spreading COVID-19 to others.
 Clean the sick room and bathroom, as needed, to avoid unnecessary contact with the sick person.
 Avoid sharing personal items like utensils, food, and drinks.


Plan for potential changes at your workplace. Talk to your employer about their emergency operations plan, including sick-leave policies and work-from-home options. Practice the usual safety measures at work as you practice when out in public and at home.

Handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from getting sick. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with at least 70% alcohol.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, taps, and sinks. If surfaces are dirty, clean them using detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection. To disinfect, most common household disinfectants, like Jik and Handy Andy, will work. 

SYMPTOMS AND TESTING

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:
 Cough
 Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
 Fever
 Chills
 Muscle pain
 Sore throat
 New loss of taste or smell
 Nausea or vomiting
 Diarrhoea
 Fatigue, weakness or tiredness
Children have similar symptoms to adults and generally have mild illness.
This list is not all inclusive.
One symptom in itself is not necessarily evidence of an infection. Ideally if you have any concerns about your symptoms, always seek advice from your local healthcare provider or your Doctor.


It is possible to test positive for flu (as well as other respiratory pathogens) and the virus that causes COVID-19 at the same time.

Testing is usually done based on the symptoms you are displaying, or some other possible exposure to the risk of infection, i.e. you were in close contact with someone who had a confirmed infection. You should therefore visit your local healthcare provider or your Doctor if you suspect an infection. They can refer you to your nearest testing centre if they believe you may be a Person Under Investigation, i.e. you may be infected. You can also phone the NICD helpline on 0800 029 999.


Your local healthcare facility or Doctor will be able to refer you to a testing centre. You can also phone the NICD helpline on 0800 029 999.

If you are tested for COVID-19, and your results are negative, that could mean the virus was not found in the test sample that was taken from you. In the early stages of an infection it is possible that the virus will not be detected. After its incubation period (2 – 14 days), the virus could surface, and after another test, you could be found to be positive for COVID-19.
If you have symptoms of an infection, but your results are negative, that could mean the virus is not causing your current illness.

At this time, we are not sure if you can become re-infected. Until we know more, continue to take steps to protect yourself and others. 

HIGHER RISK

COVID-19 is a new disease and there is limited information regarding risk factors for severe disease. Based on currently available information and clinical expertise, older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
Based on what we know now, those at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19 are:
 People aged 65 years and older
 People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
People of all ages with underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, including:
 People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
 People who have serious heart conditions
 People who are immunocompromised
 Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications
 People with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] ≥40)
 People with diabetes
 People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
 People with liver disease

If you are at higher risk of getting extremely sick from COVID-19, you should:
 Stock up on supplies
 Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others
 When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick
 Limit close contact and wash your hands often
 Avoid crowds, cruise travel, and non-essential travel
 Closely monitor your health condition
If there is an outbreak in your community, stay home as much as possible. Watch for symptoms and emergency signs. If you get sick, stay home and call your doctor.

Currently, there is no evidence to show that taking ibuprofen or naproxen can lead to a more severe infection of COVID-19.
People with high blood pressure should take their blood pressure medications, as directed, and work with their healthcare provider to make sure that their blood pressure is as well controlled as possible. Any changes to your medications should only be made by your healthcare provider.


Based on available information, adults aged 65 years and older and people of any age with underlying medical conditions included on this list are at higher risk for severe illness and poorer outcomes from COVID-19. Data is constantly being collected and analysed on a regular basis, and our knowledge of the virus is constantly changing. Refer to legitimate sources of information, like the Department of Health or the NICD (National Institute of Communicable Disease) website for updated information. Please be careful trusting information you receive via social media and normal media unless that information is from a legitimate organisation (for example, WHO) or government. People with underlying medical conditions not on the list might also be at higher risk and should consult with their healthcare provider if they are concerned.

We encourage all people, regardless of risk, to:
 Take steps to protect yourself and others.
 Call your healthcare provider if you are sick with a fever, cough, or shortness of breath.
 Comply with government legislation. 

CLEANING AND

Cleaning with soap and water removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. It lowers the risk of spreading infection. Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces. By killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.

Routine cleaning is the everyday cleaning practices that businesses and communities normally use to maintain a healthy environment. Surfaces frequently touched by multiple people, such as door handles, bathroom surfaces, and handrails, should be cleaned with soap and water or another detergent at least daily when facilities are in use. More frequent cleaning and disinfection may be required based on level of use. For example, certain surfaces and objects in public spaces, such as shopping carts and point of sale keypads, should be cleaned and disinfected before each use. Cleaning removes dirt and impurities, including germs, from surfaces. Cleaning alone does not kill germs, but it reduces the number of germs on a surface.

Cleaning does not kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection. If a surface may have gotten the virus on it from a person with or suspected to have COVID-19, the surface should be cleaned and disinfected. Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces. 


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