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College Advice

Staying Safe From Viruses In Your Dorm

DormEssentials March 31, 2020
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Living in a dorm is already closer quarters than most people would like. With the outbreak of viruses like COVID-19 and the widespread implementation of social distancing and self-quarantining, dorm life is becoming more complicated than ever. However, there are many things you can do to protect yourself from coronavirus from washing your hands to virtual game nights. While this is a guide to staying safe from viruses in your dorm, you may also want to read about socializing when locked in your dorm.

Dorms and hygiene don’t always go hand in hand, but it’s more important than ever to practice good hygiene during the current pandemic. Proper hygiene practices combined with social distancing are the key elements to slowing the outbreak and saving lives. To stop the spread of the virus, there are a few hygienic practices that are recommended:

Understand how it spreads

Coronavirus is believed to spread mostly through person-to-person contact which is common at social events. The CDC believes that the virus is transmitted through respiratory droplets that are produced when a person with coronavirus coughs or sneezes. However, it may be possible to get COVID-19 from touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching your nose or mouth.

Wash your hands often

We’re all used to hand washing, but very rarely do people wash their hands as regularly or as vigorously as is suggested. Wash your hands with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds, especially if you’ve just been out in public. You should also wash your hands after blowing your nose, sneezing, or coughing. If you don’t have soap and water nearby, use a hand sanitizer that’s at least 60% alcohol.

Cover your coughs and sneezes

Many people with the virus show little to no symptoms, but are still spreading the disease. A great way to prevent spreading the virus to others is to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you have to cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue, use the inside of your elbow. If you suspect you may be sick, you should wear a facemask whenever you’re around other people. If you’re not sick, save the facemasks for the caregivers of those who are sick.

Clean and disinfect every day

You should clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces everyday. This includes your phone, doorknobs, light switches, tables, and anything that you frequently use. Most household disinfectants will work, but make sure you use disinfectants that are appropriate for the surface to avoid damaging your furniture. With alcohol solutions, make sure the solution is at least 70% alcohol. You can read our tips for dorm cleaning here.

Finally, check out this great summary from the CDC:


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