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COVID-19 Precautions: What to do when you come home

As kids go back to school and parents go back to the office, a TAMU professor has a few tips on what to do and what you should clean when you come home.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — With offices and schools opening back up, it’s normal to have questions about what to do when you get home. 

Should you jump in the shower right away? Should you sanitize everything that’s touched? 

Adam Pickens is an Environmental and Occupational Health Department professor at Texas A&M University who gave some piece of mind. 

He said it's all about assessing your hazards and how you can prevent any danger. 

It is possible that kids going back to school in person and parents going back to the office might bring home COVID-19 germs. 

“Basically, take the things that might have the contaminant on them and isolate,” Pickens said.

That means putting your clothes in the laundry room, taking a shower right when you get home and sanitizing certain things that go out with you every day. 

“Things like computers, that we would consider inanimate," he said, "they tend to stay in one spot; in the backpack, on the desk, things like that, the virus tends to live a bit longer.”

Pickens recommends cleaning those kinds of things with a high concentration alcohol based cleaner. People should ideally use a cleaner that has at least 60 percent alcohol. 

There is a bit more wiggle room with items like backpacks or briefcases.

“For those things with that rougher surface that’s moved around a bunch, you’re not as likely to bring something like that into your home and have it be a transmission hazard,” Pickens said.

You can clean more things like bags for piece of mind or if you live with a more vulnerable person. 

Overall Pickens says being careful is fine. There’s just no need to go overboard. 

“If your people involved are younger and more healthy, may not necessarily have to completely disinfect every single thing that goes into your house,” he said.

Pickens advised as you’re washing your own hands and body with soap and water, there’s no need to get too worried about the things you touch day to day.