Huntsville Hospital cardiologist gives tips on not bringing COVID-19 home with you

Updated: May. 11, 2020 at 1:56 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - With more businesses opening their doors this week you might be leaving the house for a much-needed haircut or going to sit down at your favorite restaurant with your family, whatever you’re doing, all you’re asked is that you wear a face covering and practice social distancing.

Jacqueline Green, a cardiologist at Huntsville Hospital, had a few tips for how to avoid bringing COVID-19 home with you when you’re out and about.

She said masks are essential right now, but if you aren’t wearing them correctly they won’t do their job.

Green said everyone needs to wear a mask that covers both your nose and mouth. You need to make sure it fits comfortably so you don’t fidget with them. If you fidget with it you run the risk of possibly contaminating your face even more than if you hadn’t worn a mask at all.

She said when you take it off, remove it by the straps so you don’t touch the part that has been protecting you from possible COVID-19 germs. Green said it’s important to remember the mask is there to protect others while also reminding them of our current situation

“The benefit of wearing the mask is really to just maintain social awareness that we’re in the middle of a pandemic and so if everyone is wearing a mask I think everyone is more likely to not touch things and stand too close to one another," she said. "It’s a visual reminder of an invisible threat.”

Green said when you get home, it’s a good idea to shower immediately and throw your clothes in the wash. She said you also need to wash your mask everyday.

When you need to leave your house, she suggests not taking the whole family, the more people who can stay at home, means a smaller chance of bringing the virus home with you.

“The reason to wear a mask is so an asymptomatic carrier does not transmit the virus to another person while they’re speaking or even sneezing," Green said. "So, if a child were to contract the disease while they’re out and about and then take it home to an older caregiver, that could be an issue.”

Green said it’s a good idea to leave the kids at home when you can, but recognizes that not all situations allow for that. It is Huntsville Hospitals suggestion that every person over the age of two wear a mask.

As for wearing gloves, Green said she’s seen a lot fo people still touching their faces with their gloves on so she’s not sure those aren’t better than good hygiene and being aware of what you are touching.

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