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Month: March 2020

Should You Sanitize Your Groceries?

With the global spread of the coronavirus pandemic, many people are cooking from home more than ever before. Though you’re probably doing your best to practice social distancing and stay inside, you may be wondering if the food, packaging, and grocery bags you bring into your home need to be sanitized. It’s a valid concern, considering all of the hands that have touched the apples in your fridge or the cans of tuna in your pantry.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), transmission of the virus is far more likely to spread through respiratory droplets from an infected person and much less likely via surfaces, materials, or food. So you probably don’t need to do more than what’s usually recommended to safely sanitize surfaces and prepare food. That said, we understand that you may have specific questions about the risks. Here’s what you need to know about handling grocery bags, packaged food, and produce after you return from the store or when you have food delivered to your door.

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More Americans Should Probably Wear Masks for Protection

As the coronavirus pandemic rages on, experts have started to question official guidance about whether ordinary, healthy people should protect themselves with a regular surgical mask, or even a scarf.

The World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continue to state that masks don’t necessarily protect healthy individuals from getting infected as they go about their daily lives.

The official guidance continues to recommend that masks should be reserved for people who are already sick, as well as for the health workers and caregivers who must interact with infected individuals on a regular basis. Everyone else, they say, should stick to frequent hand-washing and maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet from other people to protect themselves.

But the recent surge in infections in the United States, which has put the country at the center of the epidemic, with more confirmed cases than China, Italy or any other country, means that more Americans are now at risk of getting sick. And healthy individuals, especially those with essential jobs who cannot avoid public transportation or close interaction with others, may need to start wearing masks more regularly.

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NYTimes is Sharing Coronavirus Case Data for Every U.S. County

With no detailed government database on where the thousands of coronavirus cases have been reported, a team of New York Times journalists is attempting to track every case.

As the coronavirus has spread across the United States, killing hundreds of people and sickening tens of thousands more, comprehensive data on the extent of the outbreak has been difficult to come by.

No single agency has provided the public with an accurate, up-to-date record of coronavirus cases, tracked to the county level. To fill the gap, The New York Times has launched a round-the-clock effort to tally every known coronavirus case in the United States. The data, which The Times will continue to track, is being made available to the public on Friday.

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