[This post is a revised and updated version of an article we published in April 2020.]
It's not news to anyone that we are still in the throes of COVID-19. A significant increase in new cases reversed what was a decline after January 2021.
In the last few months, there has been a rapid rise in the COVID-19 case and hospitalization rates around the country. For those at home, it is absolutely essential to maintain a clean and disinfected environment.
Staying Safe While Staying Home
At the time of this article was posted we have not gone back to mass "shut downs" and stay-at-home orders. However, many Americans began working from home last and have remained there.
For others, it continues to be an option.
The fact is, regardless of how one feels about vaccines or vaccination mandates, the COVID-19 virus, and now the Delta variant, are still active and posing a risk and a danger to everyone.
And, although vaccination rates are rising dramatically, the need for being safe and sanitary has not diminished. In other words, a vaccination and a mask are not always enough to stay safe while staying home.
COVID-19, Delta Variant, and the CDC
On July 27, 2021, CDC released updated guidance on the need for urgently increasing COVID-19 vaccination coverage and a recommendation for everyone in areas of substantial or high transmission to wear a mask in public indoor places, even if they are fully vaccinated.
The update highlighted the following points of concern regarding the newer Delta variant of the virus:
- The Delta variant is more contagious
- Some data suggest the Delta variant might cause more severe illness than previous variants in unvaccinated people
- Unvaccinated people remain the greatest concern
- Fully vaccinated people with Delta variant breakthrough infections can spread the virus to others. However, vaccinated people appear to spread the virus for a shorter time
So, what about the vaccines? Do they work? Even against the Delta variant?
According to the CDC,
The COVID-19 vaccines approved or authorized in the United States are highly effective at preventing severe disease and death, including against the Delta variant. But they are not 100% effective, and some fully vaccinated people will become infected (called a breakthrough infection) and experience illness. For all people, the vaccine provides the best protection against serious illness and death.
Along with social distancing, masks, and vaccinations, the CDC and others continue to recommend that we clean and disinfect our indoor spaces:
- Clean high touch surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
- If someone is sick or has tested positive for COVID-19, disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
Cleaning and Disinfecting Tips and Checklist
When it comes to cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing, those terms can be a bit confusing. To help out us mere mortals, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers these definitions:
Cleaning removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces or objects. Cleaning works by using soap (or detergent) and water to physically remove germs from surfaces. This process does not necessarily kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.
Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces or objects. Disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces or objects. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.
Sanitizing lowers the number of germs on surfaces or objects to a safe level, as judged by public health standards or requirements. This process works by either cleaning or disinfecting surfaces or objects to lower the risk of spreading infection.
When it comes to your home, the distinctions are the same, but the focus is really to simply "clean and then disinfect."
If you take a moment to look around your home you can begin to see the wide variety of surfaces, materials, and items that can host dangerous and even deadly germs, bacteria and viruses.
The danger of having an highly infectious viral contagion in your home like COVID-19 is that it is very likely to be transmitted by touch.
In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) still states that,
COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks. People can also be infected by touching a contaminated surface and then their eyes, mouth or nose.
While you may feel your home is fine, it is far better to be safe by cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting your home.
To that end, we created this checklist to help you with that task.
Staying Clean, Staying Disinfected, Staying Safe
What is known for certain about COVID-19 is that is readily spread from person-to-person. However, it is still not so certain how easily it can be contracted from surfaces that have been contaminated. According to the CDC website,
"It may be possible that a person 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."
The CDC still recommends that we wash our hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub. Also, routinely clean frequently touched surfaces.
Here's a simple formula for making your own disinfectant using basic household bleach and water:
There are many actions you can take to ensure your health and safe home environment. Using common cleaning tools and products, such as bleach and hydrogen peroxide solutions, makes keeping a clean and disinfected household simple and affordable.
Another key element is to keep as much of your household garbage and waste products out of the house as possible. This may mean having your garbage removed and disposed of more often than when your residential garbage removal takes place. That's when you can use the services of an expert garbage removal company.
Your Best Option for Bulk Trash and Junk Removal
Junk King provides efficient, safe and eco-friendly household garbage removal and trash hauling services so you don’t need to worry about the pick up or disposal of your garbage and waste after you're done cleaning.
Whether you need our services several times during a period of time or just once after your done, our hauling professionals will ensure that the garbage and junk is out of your way so that you can get on with your life or work .
Do you have excessive household trash? Our team specializes in garbage removal.
We can be at your home or office in mere minutes, so call us today! Our crew is fully insured and well-trained, so you can trust them to get rid of your unwanted items in a professional and courteous fashion.
One of the best things about hiring Junk King is that we recycle much of the material we pick up. This is proof of our commitment to being an eco-friendly removal service. If you have questions about what we do or what we believe, give us a call at 1-888-888-JUNK (5865).