Tips for cleaning face masks and other best practices for COVID-19 patients

Health Tips

(WETM) – Everyone is looking for ways to stay safe and healthy to avoid contracting the coronavirus, but what about when you are tested positive? A health official at Arnot Health is sharing tips on what to do when you are tested positive for COVID-19.

1. Isolate yourself from anyone else who might live in the same home.

“Trying to isolate as much as possible within the house is really the most important part,” said Andrew Klee, Infection Prevention Associate at Arnot Health. “If there’s a separate bedroom that could house a patient, can stay in, a separate bathroom they can use, that’s going to be most ideal to help prevent transmission to other members of the family.”

2. What should I do with clothing, bed sheets, towels, and toothbrushes?

“Your toothbrush is fine,” said Klee. “You don’t have to go out and throw everything away but you do want to avoid sharing with other people.”

Klee tells 18 News that bed sheets are like clothes and should still be cleaned regularly.

“A lot of clothing materials made of like more porous material,” said Klee. “We know that viruses and other bacteria organisms really don’t last that long, and tend to get trapped and break down.”

3. How can I clean my cloth face masks?

When it comes to face masks, it’s important to wear one while in quarantine if others live in the same home. In many areas, there is a shortage of face masks, forcing people to reuse the same one.

On April 15, New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, issued an executive order for all New York residents to wear a face cover beginning on April 17. If you are having to use the same mask, Klee says to avoid spraying it with any chemicals.

“You want to avoid spray’s like Lysol or any chemicals on the mask itself,” said Klee. “You’re putting that right up against your face so intending to inhale those chemicals that may be on the mask. That can cause some damage as well so you want to avoid spreading that with any sort of chemicals or essential oils, things like that.”

Instead, people should wash the mask in a pillowcase or some form of cover after every use, if not daily. Covering the mask would help prevent any deterioration.

Klee wants to remind everyone, hand hygiene is very important and avoid touching your face. Also, remember to clean all high touch surfaces like counter tops and doorknobs.

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