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COVID-19 has done nothing to make public bathrooms more appealing, as they come with high-touch surfaces and often lidless toilets. As an indoor space, a public bathroom is not necessarily a safe environment.

Put a mask on before you enter. Wash your hands immediately after. You can also wear glasses to protect your eyes. There are a number of high-touch surfaces, and the virus, along with bacteria, can exist on them. It’s good to minimize contact by using your foot or toilet paper when lifting, turning, or pulling anything.

Contact before going to the bathroom isn’t as important, since you’ll be washing your hands, but even if you touch a surface, the virus won’t go through your skin. The main thing is to not touch your face, specifically your mouth, nose, or eyes, before washing. And before you leave, use your foot, elbow (if possible), or a paper towel to open the door, and once outside, spray your hands with a sanitizer.

Don’t overlook cleaning your glasses and cell phone. “Is your iPhone a major risk? Probably not, but it could be a potential source for some individuals,” he says. “That’s the thing with COVID-19. We don’t know, so it’s good to disinfect high-touch areas. Some people will take their own extra steps with cleaning, because it provides a greater sense of psychological confidence, since there’s still much uncertainty.

But doing what’s known, such as washing hands, wearing a mask, and minimizing close contact, while it doesn’t guarantee safety, can help people consider options and re-engage with lost activities. When it comes to the bathroom, “follow the basic hygiene, get in and out, and you’re probably in a low-risk group.”

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