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Learning From COVID-19: The Best Products for Safety and Hygiene

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By now it’s clear that Covid-19 is here to stay until we have developed a vaccine to completely eradicate it. The virus has infected millions across the globe but, as daunting as it may seem, we have to learn how to live safely with the virus circulating.

This guide will take you through the best safety and hygiene products that will contribute to keeping virus transmission rates as low as possible.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Covid-19

Personal protective equipment (PPE) protects the user against health and safety risks. There are several types of PPE available which include:

  • Protective aprons and overalls
  • Safety boots or shoes
  • Gloves
  • Goggles and safety glasses
  • Earpieces and earmuffs
  • Masks and respirators

In the case of Covid-19, commonly-used PPE are gloves, goggles, and masks.

Face coverings, masks and respirators

Covid-19 is primarily transmitted through tiny droplets produced when you cough or sneeze. Because of this, face coverings, masks, and respirators are important defences against the virus.

Face coverings

Your face covering can be single-use or reusable and must entirely cover the nose and mouth. In the UK, places, where face coverings are required, include:

  • Public transport
  • Private hire vehicles and taxis
  • Shops and supermarkets
  • Shopping centres
  • Bars, restaurants, cafes, and pubs (when not seated)
  • Theatres
  • Places of worship
  • Community centres, etc.

Some exceptions include:

  • Children below 11 years old
  • People who can’t wear a face-covering because of disability or illness
  • Where wearing a face covering will cause you severe distress

For more information about face coverings, consult this guide.

Masks and respirators

Surgical face masks and respirators are mainly intended for health care workers who are constantly exposed to the virus. However, they are a cheap alternative to cloth masks that can be bought in bulk for the public.

Click here for more details on face mask guidance.

Practising good hand hygiene

According to the World Health Organization, practising proper hand hygiene is one of the best ways to protect yourself and others from the virus. It is recommended to wash your hands thoroughly and regularly with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, you can use instant hand sanitiser with at least 60% rubbing alcohol.

Practice proper coughing etiquette

Covid-19 is mainly spread through coughing and sneezing. To help prevent its spread, you are encouraged to follow proper coughing etiquette both at home and in public. Here’s what to do:

  • When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue
  • Dispose of the used tissue in the bin as soon as possible
  • If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your elbow
  • Avoid sneezing or coughing in your hands

After coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose, wash your hands immediately with soap and water. Once again, may use a hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not readily available.

Disinfecting your home

Be proactive in protecting your home against Covid-19. Use the following list to get started:

Soap – It is highly recommended that you clean surfaces with soap first to reduce the number of germs, impurities, and dirt on the surface.

Disinfectant – after cleaning with soap and water, disinfect surfaces with approved household disinfectant.

Goggles – goggles or safety glasses are highly recommended to protect your eyes from any splashes.

Things to remember when disinfecting your home

  • Always wear protection
  • Make sure there is enough ventilation
  • Don’t use more than the recommended amount on the label
  • Avoid mixing chemical products
  • Store hazardous chemicals away from pets and children