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As coronavirus cases continue to spike across the country, the CDC is clamping down on guidelines designed to help people stay safe, both at home — and in public. From social distancing rules (at least six feet of distance between you and the next person) to regular cleaning and disinfecting, the agency says the only way to prevent illness is to not be exposed to the virus in the first place. Their motto: Plan, Prepare and Respond.
There are numerous think-pieces and so-called “guides” out there, outlining what you supposedly should or shouldn’t do during the pandemic. But according to the latest CDC guidelines (with the straightforward title, “Promoting Healthy Behaviors that Reduce Spread”), there are seven main things you should have on-hand to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to keep you — and your stuff — safe, and virus-free. Here’s what to put on your list.
1. Disinfectant Soap
Disinfectant soap falls under the CDC’s “Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette” recommendations, with notes for “frequent handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.”
This two-pack from DermaKleen gets you two pump bottles of antimicrobial hand wash, which promises to kill 99% of germs. This is the same product used in hospitals, nursing homes and medical offices as a safe and effective antiseptic.
The alcohol-free soap won’t dry out your hands, and DermaKleen says it’s safe for all ages to use. Infused with vitamin E, this hand-sanitizing soap kills bacteria while still being mild and moisturizing on hands.
2. Cloth Face Coverings
You already know you should be wearing a mask, and many states have mandated the use of face masks or coverings when entering a public space. The CDC says “cloth face coverings are most essential in times when physical distancing is difficult (e.g., when moving within a crowd or audience).”
While there are a number of colorful mask options out there, this set from SHASHI gets you three simple, well-made masks that fit everyone. Made from a T-shirt-style cotton jersey material, the masks are lightweight and breathable, while still protecting you against airborne particles and accidental sprays. Toss them in the washing machine when you’re done, and they can be easily re-worn again and again.
3. Household Cleaners and Disinfectants
The CDC says you should be cleaning and disinfecting frequently-touched surfaces at least daily, or between uses as much as possible. Don’t forget things like door handles and faucets too.
This disinfecting and sanitizing spray from Comet helps to break down surface stains and eliminate household germs and bacteria. Comet says the formula is safe for floors, sinks, toilets and tubs. It’s also safe for fiberglass and porcelain countertops. Grab this eight-pack of disinfectant spray from Staples while it’s still in stock. For added protection, pick up a box of disposable gloves too.
4. Hand Sanitizer
If soap and water aren’t available, the CDC recommends using a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Squeeze a quarter-sized amount between the palms of your hands and rub hands until dry.
When it comes to hand sanitizers, we’re big fans of this one from Israeli grooming brand, Maapilim. Developed using fresh ingredients and a rich essential oil blend, this tube of hand sanitizer looks and feels like a luxe hotel amenity you can’t wait to stock up on.
The quick-absorbing hand sanitizer gel won’t leave a sticky residue and keeps hands soft and smelling clean. Maapilim says the formula kills 99.9% of germs and bacteria naturally. A touch of aloe vera helps keep your hands moisturized; the formula contains 70% alcohol — exceeding the CDC-recommended minimum amount.
5. Disinfectant Wipes
It’s getting harder and harder to find disinfectant wipes online these days (Home Depot sometimes has Clorox wipes in stock), but ZAGG has a pack of 500, individually-wrapped disinfecting wipes available to buy online right now. The wipes may be designed for your devices, but they’re also great for wiping down keyboards, countertops, door knobs, light fixtures, remotes, keys and other small items we come into contact with daily. This formula contains 70% isopropyl alcohol, meeting the CDC-recommended guidelines for at least 70% alcohol content in an effective disinfectant.
6. Paper Towels
The CDC’s list of “adequate supplies” that both households and places of business should have in-stock, include soap, water, hand sanitizer and paper towels and tissues. Amazon is your best bet to stock up on these basics, but if their inventory is low, we found paper towels in stock at Staples.
Staples lets you buy paper towels and toilet paper in bulk, and their site has top brands like Cottonelle, Scott and Charmin all in stock and shipping daily. After experiencing shipping delays a few months ago, it seems Amazon has replenished its stock as well.
7. No-Touch Trash Cans
A newer addition to the CDC’s list of “adequate supplies” is a no-touch trash can. Open the lid by waving your hand over a sensor; the lid automatically closes once you dispose of your trash. A no-touch trash can is not only cleaner and less messy, but more hygienic as well.
This one from iTouchless is a best-seller on Amazon. The 13-gallon size fits standard kitchen trash bags, while the bin has an odor control filter to lock in smells so they don’t escape the can.