FORT KNOX, Ky. — Medical experts at Fort Knox Preventive Medicine are encouraging the community to stick to what has historically worked against viruses in light of what they don’t yet know about COVID–19.Practicing good personal hygiene, thoroughly and frequently sanitizing areas, and avoiding others who are potentially sick are among the recommendations.According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, medical professionals are still learning how it spreads, how sustainable it is and how to mitigate the effects.Army Public Health Nursing officer Capt. Shantyl Galloway, at U.S. Army Medical Command and Ireland Army Health Clinic, said traditional ways to fight viruses are well known, but with COVID-19, education is still important.“We’ve contacted the units and are training Soldiers how to properly wash their hands and to frequently sanitize their surfaces,” said Galloway. “It seems too simple, but they should do this more often and thoroughly than normal to protect themselves from COVID-19.”Galloway said purposeful cleaning could reduce the threat.“The guidance is to keep the Soldiers’ workplaces clean in order to decrease the transmission of any illness, and our homes have the same high touch areas,” she said. “Counters, doorknobs, hand rails and toilet seat handles are items that everyone touches that need to be disinfected often and well,” she said. “We want to disrupt the transmission through this routine cleaning.”Cyclic cleaning regimens could limit the time people are exposed to infected surfaces giving the virus far less opportunity to spread to other hosts, said Capt. Celeste Singletary, Fort Knox chief of Army Public Health Nursing.“Any confirmed case, would require contact tracing — where we’d contact everyone who came in contact with a positive case,” Singletary said. “Not everyone who makes contact gets sick. Keeping their areas clean decreases the chance they’ll get sick.”She said an emphasis on being thorough and repetitive is a key component of fighting the virus.“[With] education about how the disease is transferred, how it spreads, and how to disinfect, we’re [reinforcing] how to prevent the spread of disease,” Singletary said.The installation’s medical staff is doing everything possible to prevent the spread of the virus, including screening Soldiers coming from other locations where the disease may be widespread.“We have Department of the Army guidance that Soldiers coming from hot spots [have] to be quarantined for 14 days,” she said. “Soldiers who already had orders in hand before the stop loss still went to their respective locations, and there they were screened and monitored for two weeks to ensure they didn’t have signs or symptoms.”Singletary said that people under quarantine doesn’t mean that they’re infected with the virus, but that they’re being screened and monitored for symptoms, and Galloway added that any quarantined area would be a standard of sanitation to safeguard individuals and anyone else.“Every case would be different with some people self-monitoring from their home with frequent [discussions] with a healthcare provider, and others could be monitored from a hospital,” said Galloway. “We wouldn’t want them to isolate with someone who had the virus, but we don’t know how long they’d been around them or if they’d been exposed.”Despite the nuance of each different situation, Galloway said that isolation and sanitation are pivotal to stopping COVID-19.“They might have to practice isolation in the same house with the positive case staying in the basement and the rest of the family upstairs,” she said. “There’s no cut-and-dry answer, but they’ll need to isolate, and they’ll need to continually disinfect.”