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The One Thing You Shouldn't Touch As COVID Spikes

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It's finally happening! Your state is reopening. Maybe it's only restaurants and non-essential retail stores and maybe it's only at 25% capacity and maybe you have to wear a mask. But take a moment to rejoice in the fact that you can finally go patronize your local establishments—and do so while minimizing risk.

Now that you've finished your happy dance, it's important to remember that just because you've gotten the all-clear to sit down for a meal or shop for new shoes, it doesn't mean the COVID-19 pandemic is over. It's still incredibly important to follow state guidelines and protocol put into place by the establishments you visit. 

You should also remain proactive about your own health by staying careful about how close you get to other people, where you visit, and what you touch. And one thing you shouldn't touch when you start going out in public is door knob handles. Read on to learn why, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.

You Can Catch COVID-19 From Surfaces

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) stated that COVID-19 is mainly spread from person-to-person contact and not normally by touching contaminated surfaces. However, if you do touch a contaminated surface, then touch your face or eyes, it's possible to contract the virus. Whether you're out at your favorite burger joint or trying on new clothes, stay aware of surfaces that may be contaminated, such as bathroom or fitting room doorknob handles.

Scientists have been warning us about the bacterial counts on doorknobs well before the coronavirus reared its ugly head. A study published in the Continental Journal of Medical Research measured the bacteria levels on doorknobs in public offices, parks, and markets. After analyzing 180 culture swabs, scientists found that 86.7% tested positive for bacteria, including Staph and e. Coli. If other diseases run rampant in these areas, there's no doubt that COVID-19 could as well.

But unless you have telekinesis, you won't have a choice but to touch some door handles as you begin to venture out in public. According to experts at Baptist Health, it's best to avoid using your fingertips when opening doors. 

RELATED: 11 Signs You've Already Had COVID-19

How to Safely Open a Door

If you were to touch your face with infected hands, you're more likely to touch your eyes or wipe your nose with your fingertips. By not allowing this part of your body to touch the contaminated door knob, you could avoid spreading COVID-19 by contact. Experts also suggest you "open doors with an elbow or the back of a hand." This will avoid contaminating your hands, just in case they creep up to touch your face. Or, use a tissue and then dispose of it.

As always, the CDC encourages you to wash your hands thoroughly whenever possible, especially after spending time in public. If you've come into contact with door handles, wash as soon as you can or use hand sanitizer if it's not a good time for handwashing. Enjoy your city as it slowly reopens but stay safe by following the proper guidelines so you can prevent the spread of coronavirus. As for yourself: To get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Kelly Hernandez
Kelly Hernandez is a health and wellness writer and certified personal trainer. Read more