Elsevier Coronavirus Toolkit - Evidence-based content and resources for healthcare professionals

A Guide to Fighting the Coronavirus from Home

Keep washing your hands often and clean “high-touch” surfaces daily!

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread rapidly, with cases in the US now in all 50 states with over 300,000 cases and over 12,000 deaths.1 Though we don’t know the exact percentage, some infected people never have symptoms; you can spread this virus and get other people sick even if you feel completely healthy.2 That’s why it’s important to continue being diligent at home to stop the spread of COVID-19. This article will give you some important information and tips for what you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones at home.

Did you know?

  1. The virus can stay alive for at least several days on the surfaces you touch.3
    • This includes handles, light switches, and doorknobs.
  2. People touch their face up to 23 times per hour!4
    • Even though the main way the virus spreads is through respiratory droplets, you can get coronavirus from touching an infected surface and then touching your face.2,5
  3. Even if you have previously had a coronavirus infection, you can be infected again. Some people have even recovered and then tested positive again.6

Therefore, it’s important to keep up good hygiene during this pandemic to reduce exposing yourself and others to COVID-19. Follow these Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations7 to protect you and everyone around you from exposure to COVID-19:

  • Continue being diligent about handwashing with soap for at least 20 seconds7
  • Use hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol) when no soap and water is available7
  • Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth7

Additionally, you can practice the following CDC recommendations for routine cleaning and disinfecting in the household.

  • Clean frequently touched surfaces such as tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks.8
  • Clean these surfaces with soap and water daily.8
  • To disinfect (kill the germs), use diluted household bleach solutions, alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol, household cleaners and disinfectants.8
  • If you are using chemical cleaning products, make sure you follow manufacturer recommendations and make sure there is good air ventilation.8

Please click on the links below for more detailed information on how to clean your home and what cleaning products work against this virus.


  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2020). Cases in the US. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/cases-in-us.html. Accessed on April 7, 2020.
  • McIntosh, K. (2020). Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). In T. W. Post (Ed.), UpToDate. Waltham, MA: UpToDate.
  • van Doremalen, N., Bushmaker, T., Morris, D. H., Holbrook, M. G., Gamble, A., Williamson, B. N., Tamin, A., Harcourt, J. L., Thornburg, N. J., Gerber, S. I., Lloyd-Smith, J. O., de Wit, E., Munster, V. J. (2020). Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS-CoV-2 as Compared with SARS-CoV-1. The New England Journal of Medicine. doi: DOI: 10.1056/NEJMc2004973
  • Kwok, Y. L. A., Gralton, J., & Mclaws, M.-L. (2015). Face touching: A frequent habit that has implications for hand hygiene. American Journal of Infection Control, 43(2), 112–114. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2014.10.015
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2020). How COVID-19 Spreads, Mar 2020. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/transmission.html
  • Lan, L., Xu, D., Ye, G., Xia, C., Wang, S., Li, Y., & Xu, H. (2020). Positive RT-PCR Test Results in Patients Recovered From COVID-19. JAMA. doi: 10.1001/jama.2020.2783
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2020). How to Protect Yourself, Mar 2020. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/prevention.html
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2020). Get Your Home Ready, Mar 2020. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/get-your-household-ready-for-COVID-19.html