SUFFOLK COUNTY

Five answers to your questions about leaving the house

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Aside from doing the obvious— washing your hands, not touching your face, staying home and cleaning and disinfecting all surfaces in your home, what do we do when we must leave our house to get essentials like groceries, takeout meals or medicines?

When should we leave the house?

According to Suffolk County legis- lature presiding Officer Rob Calarco, you should, of course, not go to the store unless you absolutely need to. Also, there is no need to over-shop. The county has spoken with all the major grocery store chains and they have all ensured that there is plenty of food and essential household items in the supply chain. Their difficulty in keeping shelves stocked has been a direct result of demand. They recom- mend just doing your normal weekly shopping.

Should we disinfect our groceries and take- out meals?

According to medical professionals, the disease spreads from respiratory droplets, meaning having someone cough or sneeze in close proximity. Calarco said while there is a possibility for the virus to stay on the surface of an item in one of those droplets, once the droplet dries up, the virus cannot last long. Transmission through this process is extremely rare and not considered to be a major health risk.

Is it a good idea to leave things in the car for a day or two before bringing into the home?

Calarco simply said, no. The chance of one item from the store having a droplet on it is extremely rare and not considered a health risk.

Should we shower every time we leave? Or is handwashing good enough?

Calarco did not recommend show- ering every time someone leaves the house. Instead, he said, simply wash- ing your hands and practicing normal good hygiene is sufficient. The virus typically enters the body by someone touching their face, he added, after coming in contact with an infected person.

When to shop?

Most retailers and grocers have pro- vided special hours to shop for those who are most at risk, our seniors.

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