5 strategies to reduce your risk of contracting coronavirus

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With the new coronavirus, COVID-19, spreading across the globe, it’s now considered a pandemic.

The number of cases is growing higher each day, and it’s smarter than ever to stay clean with our hands washed and away from particularly germ-filled high-traffic places, such as airports.

You may see people walking around with surgical masks on, but is this really the best way to protect yourself?

Below are five effective strategies to avoid illness.

1. Avoid travel to high-risk locations.

The most obvious strategy is to stay away from areas that are known to have cases, or many cases. Although flights appear to be marked down from their usual prices these days, it wouldn’t be wise to travel anywhere with a high concentration of infection.

2. Avoid high-traffic areas.

Just like No. 1, high-traffic areas should also be avoided. This largely includes anywhere you may be in close quarters with a number of people -- think airplanes or public transit.

Germs are very easily passed in these environments, and these are breeding grounds for unsavory germs.

3. Personal hygiene

It’s very important to monitor your personal hygiene, particularly during interactions with others. Keeping your hands clean (alcohol-based hands sanitizer is very effective, if you’re away from a sink), especially following touching public facilities or others, is paramount at this time.

Washing your hands thoroughly with hot water and soap is one of the top ways to avoid infection of any virus.

4. Avoid contact with anyone who has traveled to high-risk locations.

Contact, even standing in the same room, with anyone who has recently visited high-risk locations or locations that have a high concentration of infection, should be avoided.

And that’s the hard part. How would you know? It’s safe to say, just don’t willingly put yourself into any bad or questionable scenarios. This virus can very easily be transmitted, and, as a precaution, avoiding all people that may have been exposed is a strong deterrent against transmission.

5. Don’t touch your face.

As is the case with all viral infections, transmission most commonly takes place when someone touches an object that an infected person has touched, or the person themselves.

We touch our faces SO many times a day -- and not always with a good hand-wash in between.

So, this goes along with No. 3, just avoid touching your face.

How many times do you touch your face each day, unconsciously, without thinking about it? This is the most common way that the common flu, influenza, is transmitted, and the same applies to this virus.

Take care of yourself and you should be better-protected against COVID-19.

Many companies are reaching out to their customers right about now, letting them know what kinds of health standards they uphold, and what they’re doing in the face of this new pandemic.

Texas Mattress Makers is one of those businesses.

“The most important thing to us is the health of our employees and customers,” the company said on its blog. "We are taking every precaution necessary to ensure all of our employees are healthy and that we operate under strict guidelines so our customers can be guaranteed a clean and safe product.

“If you’re concerned about shopping in store, we do offer online purchasing as well as an online sleep quiz to help find the best mattress for you."