Dear OBEN Families and Staff,
I sincerely hope that you all are well. I want to share a checklist of strategies that was meticulously compiled by Ms. Eileen McCartney, our registered nurse at Vernon School. I hope that you will find them valuable to help protect you and your family from communicable illnesses.
In addition to the household tips below, Ms. McCartney offers this advice:
-When you use a disinfectant spray or wipe, it should air dry. Do not wipe the surface dry.
-If you are keeping gloves and a mask with you, place them in a baggie. Touching them with your hands or carrying them next to your clothing will undo any good that you intended. If you feel you need a glove(s), consider using winter or gardening gloves. If you put them on when your hands are clean and remove them when you return from your errand, and keep them only for this purpose, they should be helpful as a barrier when running a necessary errand. Do remember that the outside will be considered dirty so do not remove them on your kitchen counter. Masks are not recommended by the CDC as the outside layer will actually hold and trap germs that could be more easily transferred when removing the mask if you do not know how to do this properly.
-This virus is not transmitted in the GI tract. This means it should be safe to order out food for curbside pickup and eat it with utensils. Consider purchasing gift cards from our local vendors that have supported our yearbooks and plays. Even if you don’t use the gift card until after this ends, your purchase may help keep a local business afloat.
-Run your toothbrushes through the dishwasher and each individual should use their own toothpaste tube. If this cannot be done, squirt a small amount onto something like a paper plate so that a toothbrush does not touch the actual tube.
-Spray blow dryer handles if they are shared. To prevent lice, I recommend that no one share a hairbrush.
-Spray bathroom contact surfaces such as the toilet flusher, faucet handles, shower door handles, shower knobs, light switch and both sides of the door knob twice daily.
-Spray bedroom doorknobs on both sides, and do the same for shared closet handles or knobs.
-Use separate beds and bathrooms if at all possible. If not, consider laundering bed linens more frequently. When removing bed linens, fold the outer edges in toward the center so that you only come in contact with the bottom side that was not slept on.
-Spray or wipe the touch surfaces on the washer and dryer. Spray the laundry basket so that it can dry while the laundry runs and will be clean when the laundry is finished.
-If you are caring for someone at risk, consider putting on a sweatshirt or other item of clothing over your street clothes when you enter the person’s home. This can act as a barrier to protect the other person.
-Designate TV viewing and dining seating. No switching.
-Remember to spray or wipe down door handles if you enter/exit your residence.
-Consider your car if you must go out. Spray or wipe down your key, garage door opener, and surfaces that you touch in or on the car.
-Try to limit sharing of electronic devices. Wipe them or lightly spray your cellphone, iPad, keyboard, computer mouse, and any TV and gaming remotes, and video and gaming boxes.
-Around the house, spray stair rails and thermostats if they must be touched for programming.
- In the kitchen, spray or wipe down items such as the sink faucet handle, dishwasher handles, appliance cord to coffee maker if it must be unplugged, oven handles and stove top knobs, drawer pulls and cabinet knobs, microwave handle and keypad.
-It is preferable to run dishware, glasses, food preparation and eating utensils, pots and pans through the dishwasher as this will better sanitize these items.
-Remember to wash the handles of knives and other utensils, pots and pans. We think of washing the food service contact area, but now we need to think about the things we hold in our hands.
-When entering a store, try to use a barrier, such as a tissue, if you must grip the handle. Use your arm or back of your body to push through a swinging door if possible.
- If you receive mail or a delivery and you are concerned about touching, consider spraying it outside, let it air dry, wash your hands before and after removing the contents. All produce should be washed directly. Many pharmacies and food stores offer Peapod or Instacart, which reduces the need to go outside. Stop and Shop has special hours for seniors. Consider purchasing produce at our smaller, local grocers in town. Those items can be brought home and washed immediately.
I hope you find this helpful. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if there is information or support that you need. If you have questions, you can contact Ms. McCartney at mailto:EMcCartney@obenschools.org or 516- 624-6565.
Please stay safe,
Dr. Laura Seinfeld
Superintendent of Schools