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El Paso health official urges public to disinfect high-touch surfaces, phones

EL PASO, Texas -- While washing hands is important to stopping the spread of germs, it can be just as important to clean and disinfect the surfaces you touch.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the novel coronavirus can potentially remain on surfaces for hours or days, which makes it important to disinfect high-touch areas. These include things like car and house keys, television remotes, doorknobs, tables, chairs, toilets, sinks and light switches, as well as other objects. A local health official says phones can be one of the worst "hotspots" for germs.

"Our phones are such a big part of our lives," said Dr. Oscar Vega, the Chief Medical Officer for Las Palmas Medical Center. "We carry them everywhere. They touch our face, so it is very important to keep them clean. Washing your hands before you use your phone is going to help tremendously in keeping the viral and bacterial counts on your phone lower."

Cleaning your phone incorrectly can damage the device. Try using a gentle, alcohol-based cleaning wipe with at least 70% alcohol content. Avoid getting any liquid in holes on the phone, such as a charging port. For other surfaces, try using a disinfecting spray with the same alcohol content.

Vega said it's important to wash your hands as often as you can, even when you're at home.

Madeline Ottilie

Madeline Ottilie is a reporter on Good Morning El Paso and co-anchors ABC-7 at noon.

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