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5 Things You Should Never Touch to Avoid COVID, According to a Doctor

Protect yourself by avoiding making contact with these things.
FACT CHECKED BY Checkmark Alek Korab
Cashier wearing a face mask at the grocery shop and getting a card payment

As COVID-19 cases continue to surge across the country, resulting in record-breaking hospitalizations and deaths, protecting yourself from infection is more important than ever. In addition to following CDC guidance, which includes social distancing, avoiding crowds, and mask wearing, taking extra precautions—including not touching specific items—can help protect your health. Infectious disease expert Dr. Anne Rimoin, Professor of Epidemiology at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and Infectious Disease Division of the Geffen School of Medicine, reveals to Eat This, Not That! Health five things you should avoid coming into physical contact with. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus

1

Don't Touch Your Face

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Dr. Rimoin notes that the number one thing you shouldn't touch is your own face! She specifically recommends avoiding making contact with your: "eyes, nose or face before completely sanitizing your hands."

2

Don't Touch Common Touch Surfaces

Low angle view of African American businesswoman inserting credit card and withdrawing cash at ATM while wearing protective mask on her face.
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Any common touch surfaces are a no-go, per Dr. Rimoin. She specifically suggests refraining from using handrails, as they aren't usually disinfected. Other common touch surfaces can include anything in the grocery store, ATM machines, credit card terminals, and elevator buttons. 

3

Don't Touch Anything in a Public Restroom

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While some businesses have opted to close their public restrooms, it may be impossible to avoid using them altogether during the pandemic. However, Dr. Rimoin warns that anything in a public bathroom could be harboring COVID-19. If you do touch surfaces in a public restroom, make sure to wash your hands while in it, and even consider sanitizing them after you walk out. 

4

Beware of Doorknobs

Modern white door with chrome metal handle and a man's arm.
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Most people don't disinfect doorknobs after every use. While you might be safe in your own home, when out in public you could potentially come into contact with infected droplets, warns Rimoin. 

RELATED: Dr. Fauci Just Said When We'd Be Back to "Normal"

5

The CDC Says You Can, in Fact, Catch COVID By Touch

woman sneezing with spray and small drops
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Remember, the primarily way the virus is spread is via respiratory droplets traveling from person-to-person "Based on data from lab studies on COVID-19 and what we know about similar respiratory diseases, it may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this isn't thought to be the main way the virus spreads," the CDC reminds

6

How You Can Stay Safe

woman wearing home made hygienic face medical mask to prevent infection,
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As for yourself, 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.