Phil Day By Superintendent Pharmacist Published:

Following the latest government update and the introduction of tighter restrictions to try and control the recent rise in coronavirus cases, our Superintendent Pharmacist has pulled together some tips to help you make sure your home is as ‘COVID safe’ as possible this winter.

With the colder months approaching and a growing need to keep safe, we’re all more likely to spend more time indoors this winter, but we know from expert advice that being in enclosed spaces can increase the risk of transmission of the virus. So how do we make our homes as ‘COVID safe’ as possible? 

Keep it clean

  • Use a cleaning product that can kill coronavirus around your home, particularly in commonly touched places. Think about door handles, switches, work tops, and those areas that you first touch when coming into your home from the outside. 
  • It’s important to remember to clean the tools you wipe down the surfaces with. If you use cloths or mops, they need to be germ-free so they don’t spread germs to other surfaces. Reusable cloths should be disinfected or washed at 60C (140F) after each use. 
  • It’s recommended to use disposable cloths or paper towels where possible. You can find out more on how to clean certain surfaces here.
  • Our sister service Chemist Direct has a range of antibacterial cleaning products available that kill 99.9% of bacteria and viruses – you can find them here.

Fresh air is key 

  • Professor Shaun Fitzgerald, a University of Cambridge scientist, recommends opening a high window to stop the build up of particles inside rooms, and to leave it open for an hour – especially if you’ve had guests.
  • Often in the winter months, windows are shut and the heating is put on. Although you might not want to let cold air in, it’s proven that the bigger the temperature difference between the inside and the outside, the more airflow you will get, so you don’t actually need to open the window much to get a good amount of airflow.
  • As an alternative to opening windows, or for rooms with no windows, air purifiers could help. These filter out pollutants and particles and push the clean air back out into the living space. Most air purifiers typically require regular filter replacement to maintain performance. Find out more about air purifiers here.

Keep on top of your health

  • If you have a health condition which requires a regular prescription, it’s more important than ever for you to keep healthy by taking your medication as prescribed in this time of lockdown; not only for your own health but to help prevent unnecessary strain on  the NHS.
  • Going without your medication is a risk to your health, and last minute orders for your prescription or for emergency supplies will likely cause additional pressure to pharmacy and surgery staff at this time. Our NHS repeat prescription service can help, with handy reminders to tell you when it’s time to re-order to ensure you don’t run out of your medication.
  • It’s also important to make sure you’re aware of the differences between colds, flu and the coronavirus this winter as there are many similar symptoms, so it may be difficult for you to tell. 

Hands, Face, Space

  • Not only is it important to protect your home from the coronavirus this winter, we must maintain high standards of personal hygiene and practice social distancing. Protecting yourself and others whilst you are outside or in a public setting will also lessen your risk when you’re in your own home. 

For more advice and latest updates on the coronavirus you can check our news centre. In the meantime please continue to take care and stay safe.