Do I Need To Change My Clothes When I Get Home From The Grocery Store?
We’re asking public health officials and experts to answer your questions about the COVID-19 pandemic. Keep in mind that this information does not constitute professional medical advice. For questions regarding your own health, always consult a physician.
A listener who only identified herself as Ruth wrote:
“When I go to the store do I need to change clothes once I get home? I may be obsessing, but I often feel the need to shower and change clothes even if no one has been sick near me.”
Here’s an explanation from Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, with UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health, and a former staffer with the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention:
“I think the best practice would be ... when you're coming home, making sure that you're washing your hands -- and again, that's for that 20 seconds, singing ‘Happy Birthday’ twice, (that's) very important.”
“We don't feel fabrics are going to be a major source of transmission here. It really primarily is this droplet spread, coughing and having that breathed in. It's also surfaces — especially surfaces like metal or plastics — that the virus can maybe last ... up to two days on that type of a surface.”
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Support our free, independent journalism today. Donate now.Correction: Because of a transcription error, a previous version of this story misquoted one of Dr. Kim-Farley's answers. He said coronavirus can survive longer on "metals or plastics." Your plants are innocent; do not throw them away.