Avoiding Coronavirus the Clean Way

The spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 is prompting lots of concern and questions. Coronaviruses are not new: A majority of them are the cause of most cases of the common cold. But COVID-19 can cause more severe health problems, especially among the elderly and sick.

Symptoms can appear two to 14 days after exposure and include fever, cough and shortness of breath. If you develop these symptoms after having been in close contact with someone with the virus, or who has traveled from an area with widespread infection, call your healthcare professional.

Use EWG’s resources to help reduce your chances of contracting COVID-19 and other seasonal ailments, like the flu. Your best approach to staying healthy is to be vigilant. Here are EWG’s tips to protecting yourself and your family.


To protect your family from germs:

  1. Wash hands frequently and immediately after you come home. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend washing with warm soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use EWG VERIFIED™ to find 65 hand soaps that meet our strictest standards for health and transparency.
  2. Cover up if you cough or sneeze. Use your elbow – NOT your hand – to cover your mouth. Better yet, use a tissue, then throw the tissue away.
  3. Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose and mouth. This is especially important when you’re preparing food. If you do touch your face, wash your hands again.
  4. No sink? Use hand sanitizer. It’s an appropriate on-the-go option, though washing hands with soap and water kills the most germs. Look for one with at least 60 percent alcohol, and to use it effectively, rub hands together vigorously for 20 seconds. Avoid sanitizers and soaps that contain “fragrance,” which can include a number of potentially allergenic and endocrine-disrupting mystery ingredients.
  5. Keep personal objects personal. It’s a good idea for people to use their own belongings – towels, linens and especially kitchen and dining utensils. One recommendation is to change linens and towels twice a week. Find top-scoring laundry and dish detergents here and here.

Click here to read more about avoiding coronavirus.