Reducing risk of infection is an important way to prevent people from becoming infected with COVID-19 and other infection diseases. Coronavirus is spread from an infected person through:
- Respiratory droplets spread when a person coughs or sneezes
- Close personal contact such as touching or shaking hands
- Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands
It is important to keep about 2 metres away from a person who is sick, to reduce breathing in droplets if they cough or sneeze.
Washing your hands using soap and water is the single most effective way to reduce the spread of infection.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- If a sink is not available, you can use alcohol based hand rubs (ABHR) to clean your hands as long as they are not visibly soiled. If they are visibly soiled, use a wipe and then ABHR to effectively clean them
- Do not touch your face, eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
- Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces
- Do not share food, drinks, utensils, etc.
For more information on proper hand washing see:
- BC Centre for Disease Control: Hand washing
- Hand Washing: Help Stop the Spread of Germs (HealthLinkBC File #85)
- Public Health Agency of Canada: Reduce the spread of COVID-19: Wash your hands (PDF 298KB)
General cleaning and disinfecting
Clean and disinfect your home regularly to prevent the spread of illness including COVID-19.
- Use water and soap (e.g. liquid dishwashing soap) or common household cleaning wipes to clean dirt, crumbs, oil or other debris on surfaces
- Clean surfaces that are touched often (e.g., counters, tables, doorknobs, toilets, sinks, taps, etc.) at least once a day
- Clean with soap or detergent before disinfecting
- If possible, use store bought disinfectants. If store bought disinfectants are not available, you can mix household bleach with room temperature water (do not use hot water) in specific ratios to disinfect areas in your home. Household bleach should be diluted
- Rinsing and drying recommendations are important parts of the disinfection process
For more information on cleaning and disinfecting, as well as a table describing how to prepare a disinfecting solution using bleach and water, learn more about cleaning and disinfecting.
For more information on ways to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases see:
- BC Centre for Disease Control: Masks
- BC Centre for Disease Control: Physical Distancing
- BC Centre for Disease Control How to self-monitor (PDF, 477KB)
- Self-Isolation and COVID-19
Last updated: September 17, 2020