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You No Longer Have to Do This to Avoid COVID

Use your efforts more efficient and ditch these prevention measures now.

Over the last year our understanding of COVID-19 has evolved as more information has become available. Therefore, some of the protective measures recommended by health experts in January 2020 are drastically different from those found effective in 2021. So, which are now obsolete? Here are 4 things you can stop doing to avoid COVID now, according to Shirin Peters, MD, Founder of the Bethany Medical Clinic in New York. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus


You Can Stop Wiping Down Groceries

wiping down grocery packages

Early on in the pandemic, wiping down everything was the norm. However, now that we have more information about how the virus is primarily spread, disinfecting your groceries isn't essential. "The rates of COVID transmission via fomite (viral particles sitting in tiny droplets of surface outside of a host and then being picked up via contact and transferred to another host) have been shown to be minimal with COVID-19," Dr. Peters points out. "Although it's not impossible to get COVID from touching a surface, it's highly unlikely."


You Can Wash Your Hands More Often Than Using Hand Sanitizer

Happy young woman wearing protective face mask disinfects her hands with alcohol sanitizer while sitting at table in restaurant on summer day.

While it was another routine prevention method early in the pandemic, sanitizing your hands "every two minutes" isn't necessary now. "So long as you are washing your hands before and after handling your mask to put it on and take it off, and avoiding touching your face in general, there is no need for additional precautions," Dr. Peters says. "You cannot get COVID through the skin, so frequent sanitizing of your hands is an unnecessary precaution."


No Need to Wear an N95 Mask

Medic, nurse with face mask and blue nitride gloves sharing a N95 mask.

In the first few months of the pandemic, N95 masks became a hot commodity, as people believed they were the only effective face covering. However, now we know that is not the case. "For typical exposures outside your home, a 2-layer fabric mask has been shown to be as effective in preventing spread of COVID as an N95 mask," Dr. Peters explains. "In a medical setting where exposure risk is much higher, protective equipment including N95 masks are beneficial."


No Need for Wearing Gloves

woman patient in a medical mask puts on protective surgical sterile gloves on her arm

If you are still wearing gloves all the time outside the home, stop. "Although it's not impossible to get COVID from touching a surface, it's highly unlikely," says Dr. Peters. 

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Bottom Line From the Doctor

Female Wearing Face Mask and Social Distancing

"Although you can be exposed to COVID via contact with a contaminated surface, the risk is low," Dr. Peters concludes. "Frequent hand washing and wearing a simple 2 layer fabric mask is adequate to prevent COVID exposure." As for yourself, listen to the doctor and follow Dr. Anthony Fauci's fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more about Leah