For the Courier 

Valley County Board Of Health Urges Steps To Prevent Illness


March 18, 2020

The Valley County Board of Health urges the public and places of business to implement the following steps now to prevent the spread of illness within the community:

Always use proper hand washing

Before, during, and after preparing food

Before eating food

Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea

Before and after treating a cut or wound

Before and after using the toilet

After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet

After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing

After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste

After handling pet food or pet treats

After touching garbage

Follow these steps to properly wash hands:

Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.

Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.

Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.

Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.

Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

Finally, use a clean, dry towel to turn off the water and open door.

Use hand sanitizer after every interaction with every customer when it involves pens, papers passed back and forth, money, or other items.

Refrain from touching your face, use hand sanitizer frequently all day long.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Stay home if you are sick to decrease the spread of the illness. Seriously, stay home and protect others who are more susceptible than you.

Cover coughs and sneezes.

Wear a face-mask only if you are sick.

Cleaning And Disinfecting

Disinfect all surfaces and countertops where interaction with the public occurs. Consider doing this frequently throughout the day.

Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, door edges, light switches, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

To disinfect:

Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work. Use disinfectants appropriate for the surface.

Options include:

Diluting your household bleach.

To make a bleach solution, mix:

5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water


4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water

Bleach solution diluted at home is effective for 24 hours after it is mixed.

Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.

Alcohol solutions.

Ensure solution has at least 70 percent alcohol.

Other common EPA-registered household disinfectants.

Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens are expected to be effective against COVID-19 based on data for harder to kill viruses. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, etc.).

If you have any questions or concerns, contact Valley County Health Department at 228-6261 or visit


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