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Improper disposal of masks and gloves can contribute to spreading of Covid-19

Covid-19 task force member, Dr. Jeff Warren, said litter can carry a number of infectious diseases.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — At any busy essential business like a grocery store, you'll see people wearing masks and gloves to comply with the proper protocol from health officials. A lot of people aren't following protocol with where they dispose of their masks and gloves. 

Gloves and masks have been scattered across a number of grocery store parking lots. Dr. Jeff Warren, member of the Shelby County and Memphis Covid-19 task force said this type of litter is more dangerous than before. 

"I would assume anything we touch could potentially transmit Covid if you have it, so any litter out there you should assume that’s the case," Warren said. 

He said littering is a disease problem. Trash can carry infectious diseases, but with the current coronavirus pandemic, it can be extra harmful.

"It’s also a hazard when you’re eating and throw your cup down or you wad up your paper that you had for your hamburger and you throw it on the ground," Warren said.

If you have to clean up this litter, it's important you wear gloves or immediately wash your hands after. Warren said to limit the litter, you can wash your gloves like you do your hands. 

"You use the alcohol wipe on your gloves if you think you’re touching something," Warren said. "All the gloves do is protect your hands." 

This comes down to be being a good citizen by not throwing trash on the ground. It's more important than ever to be mindful of those around who could get infected by used gloves and masks. 

"You're going to keep using them you have to get them clean," Warren said. "So, either you clean your hands or you clean your gloves."

Warren said gloves are just a layer between your hands and germs, so be careful to not touch your face and continue to wash your gloves and hands. 

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