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Working in healthcare during the pandemic known as COVID-19 is no simple feat. Many healthcare professionals, especially those working in hospitals, are physically and mentally drained, overworked, and stressed beyond belief. Most hospitals are overcrowded and only have limited availability when it comes to the equipment they use to protect themselves from infection as they treat those that are ill. One of the hardest parts of being in healthcare during this pandemic is figuring out how to avoid spreading the virus further when they’re not working. 

Many healthcare professionals have chosen to begin self-isolation tactics in order to avoid spreading the disease further, but unfortunately, this just isn’t in the cards for many people and the risks of exposure could last for months. The problem is that COVID can likely be spread by touching a surface or object that has come in contact with the virus, which makes going to and from a hospital extremely difficult and dangerous. Luckily, there are many recommendations given by healthcare professionals that can help you avoid bringing COVID-19 home with you and away from your family.

The first thing you’ll want to do is create some sort of hot-zone outside of your house. This can be outside of your front or back door, in a garage, or perhaps in a foyer, if you have one. Once you’ve figured out where the hot-zone will be and it’s properly marked, you’ll want to get a basket for your clothes and other loose items, a coat rack or hook for any type of outerwear, hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes. 

Now that the hot-zone is prepped, it’s important to use it properly every time you come home from work. The first thing you’ll need to do during this new after-work routine is to stand in the hot-zone and sanitize your hands. This can be followed by carefully removing each article of clothing and placing them all into a designated basket that will only be used for contaminated clothing. Coats and bags can go onto the coat rack or hook mentioned previously and you’ll want to leave your shoes in the hot-zone. Any loose items such as a phone or pair of keys should be disinfected, but be sure to look up how to properly disinfect your phone so you don’t go breaking it. Door knobs and any other surface that was touched should also be disinfected.

Finally, you’ll want to place your clothes in the washing machine and wash them when appropriate. This is followed by washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, taking a shower as soon as you can and wrapping it all up with clean clothes.

While this entire process may seem tedious, it’s also a great line of defence in avoiding bringing COVID home with you and increasing the risk of your family members and others falling ill.