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Smart tips to stay healthy

There is an abundance of information regarding COVID-19, but what should you really be doing to keep yourself healthy? There are a few simple ways to help prevent the spread of germs that will help protect both you and other people if you need to visit the store or go to work.

Wear a mask

Wearing a mask is an easy, effective way to prevent the spread of germs. Masks can help protect healthy people from someone who may be asymptomatic and can prevent the spread of germs from a sick person to those they live with.

There are many different kinds of masks, including surgical masks and N95 masks, but a simple cloth mask is sufficient for general public settings. Cloth masks should:

  • Fit snugly but comfortably against the sides of the face
  • Be secured with ties or ear loops
  • Include multiple layers of fabric
  • Allow for breathing without restriction
  • Be able to be laundered and machine- dried without any damage or change to its shape

Cloth face masks should be washed regularly in a washing machine and dried completely using a hot dryer. Store your face mask in a clean container or bag between uses to keep them from getting dirty.

Wash your hands

Washing your hands is the simplest and most effective way to prevent the spread of germs. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, about the time it takes to sing "Happy Birthday" twice, with soap and warm water.

If soap and water aren't available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol and rub it in until completely dry. Hand sanitizer can quickly reduce the germs on your hands, but there are limits to its effectiveness. Keep in mind that:

  • Hand sanitizer does not get rid of all the germs that could be on your hands.
  • Hand sanitizer is not as effective when your hands are visibly dirty.
  • Hand sanitizer will not completely remove harmful chemicals from your hands.

Avoid close encounters

People could be asymptomatic and not know they have the virus, so it is important to avoid close contact with others to help prevent the person-to-person spread of COVID-19. If someone in your home is sick, try to maintain a six-foot distance from them and create an area inside your home for them to isolate in.

If you need to go to the grocery store or the pharmacy, keep a six-foot distance between yourself and others. It is also important to avoid large groups of people and crowded places and to keep your distance from those who may be at a higher risk of getting sick.

Clean and disinfect

Cleaning frequently touched surfaces can help kill germs. Clean high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs and handles, light switches, countertops, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks on a regular basis with a household disinfectant.

DID YOU KNOW? Our free, online Health Library has a wealth of information to keep you well. Look up COVID-19 and other topics at jackson.org/health-library.

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