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Try This Quiz About CDC Recommendations for Coronavirus

Almost every newscast begins with “breaking news” about COVID-19, a specific strain of the corona family of viruses that has caused many illnesses and deaths. Have you been listening to the recommendations?

This is an excerpt from my column, Prairie Fare, with important reminders.

Try these questions about strategies recommended by the CDC. These steps can reduce our risk of becoming ill from a variety of viruses, including colds and the flu:

  1. How long should we wash our hands (in seconds)?
  2. You stop to wash your hands before eating lunch in a restaurant. What are the first two steps in the handwashing process?
  3. If handwashing facilities are not close at hand, a hand sanitizer is an option. What percent alcohol should your hand sanitizer be?
  4. You wake up feeling sick with a fever and chills and you need to be at work in less than an hour. What should you do?
  5. Does the CDC recommend facemasks for general use by people in the community?
  6. If you are coughing or sneezing, how can you help protect yourself and others?
  7. About how far (in feet) should you maintain a distance between yourself and others who might be sick?
  8. Hand-to-hand contact can spread germs. What are some alternatives to handshakes?

Here are the answers.

  1. Wash your hands with soapy water for a minimum of 20 seconds. That’s the amount of time to sing “Happy Birthday” twice. The next time you wash your hands, I challenge you to watch the second hand on a watch as you scrub and sing.
  2. The first steps in the handwashing process are turning on the water and wetting your hands. Many people put soap on before wetting their hands. After scrubbing and rinsing, wipe your hands with a clean paper towel and shut off the faucet with the paper towel. Or use a hand dryer. Use your elbow or your paper towel to open the exit door to leave the restroom.
  3. Hand sanitizers should be at least 60% alcohol.
  4. If you are sick, call your employer, and stay home and rest to avoid spreading illness.
  5. The CDC does not recommend that the general public wear a facemask to protect against respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. However, health-care workers and people caring for sick individuals should wear an approved facemask.
  6. Use a tissue to cover your cough or sneezes, then discard the tissue in the trash. Or sneeze into your elbow.
  7. Experts recommend keeping a distance of 6 feet.
  8. Try a wave or fist bump instead of the typical handshake.

We can do many things to keep our immune systems strong to fight disease or recover from it. See for more information about protecting yourself and others.


Julie Garden-Robinson, Ph.D., R.D., L.R.D., Professor and Extension Food and Nutrition Specialist

Sponsored in part by the Sanford Health Foundation.

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