12 Protocols When Returning Home to Avoid Covid-19

written by Carissa Andrews - Apr 9, 2020
medically reviewed by Dr. Tolulope Olabintan, MD - Aug 3, 2022

Should you find yourself needing to venture out into public spaces during the global coronavirus pandemic, there are a number of precautions you can use to keep yourself safe. Returning home is a crucial time when you want to be as vigilant as possible to avoid exposing others and increasing their risk of COVID-19 infection, as well as your own.

Even though the majority of us are under some form of quarantine, there may be times when you have to go out. For some, this might be to go to work, for others, it could mean a simple trip to the grocery store. Be sure to check out our other article, 12 Protocols for Grocery Shopping During COVID-19 for helpful safety tips when grocery shopping.

Regardless of why you were out and about, here are 12 tips to make sure you avoid COVID-19 infection when returning home.

1. Don’t Touch Anything – Do not touch anything, including your spouse/significant other or hugging your children, before washing hands and sanitizing items.

2. Remove Shoes Outside – Leave outside and do not bring them inside.

12 Protocols When Returning Home to Avoid Covid-19 infographic

3. Remove Disposable Gloves (Mask) – Carefully remove and dispose of your gloves. If you are wearing a mask, use your little fingers to pull it off, making sure not to touch the mask surface. Throw both items away.

4. Put on House Shoes – Keep dedicated shoes or slippers in your entry so you can easily slip them on as soon as you get home.

5. Put Keys, Mobile Phone, Purse, Wallet in a Dedicated Box in Entry – These are some of the most easily infected items. Do NOT touch them until you clean and sanitize. The preparedness items in a dedicated box or container includes wet wipes, alcohol prep pads, and a squeeze bottle of soap.

6. Unload Your Shopping Items on One Area – Use only counter or location, or unload in the garage and wipe them all outside prior to bringing them inside.

7. Wash Hands Immediately – Use warm, soapy water. Also wash other exposed areas, which include:

• Face

• Eyes, nose, mouth. Gargling with warm water & salt can also eliminate the virus

• Forearms and under fingernails

• Glasses or jewelry

8. Sanitize Shopping Items – Use disinfectant spray or wipes to clean any items purchased and/or brought into the home. Also sanitize other items including:

• Any reusable or canvas bags, and boxes

• The surface area used for loading the shopping items before they were sanitized

• The kitchen counters

• Doorknobs

• The pantry/fridge handles

9. Disinfect the Personal Items in the Box in Entry – Use disinfectant spray or wipes to clean your personal items if you have touched when going outside, including keys, mobile phone, purse, wallet, etc.

10. Wash/Remove Clothes – If you were exposed in a public place, remove your clothes and either:

• Put the outfit, jacket, and pants in the laundry

• Hang them outside (or on a patio)

• Put in a plastic bag to wash later

11. Take a Shower/Wash Your Hands Again – When out for extended periods of time, taking a shower is your best bet. Do so as soon as able. Otherwise, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water again.

12. Load up Vitamin C – Drink lots of warm water and load up on Vitamin C, or E. They are all great choices to strengthen your immune system.











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While the above article is based on thorough research, we do not claim to offer a substitute for medical advice from a qualified healthcare provider. The article was written for information and educational purposes only. We aim to provide helpful information to our readers, but cannot provide a treatment, diagnosis, or consultation of any sort, and we are in no way indicating that any particular drug is safe or appropriate for you and your individual needs. To receive professional medical attention, you must see a doctor.