Help Prevent Yourself and Others From Getting Sick by Washing Your Hands
March 29, 2020
As we work together to protect ourselves and our communities from COVID-19, it is important to follow safety guidelines and proper sanitary habits. Regular and thorough hand washing is the number one step we can all take to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The CDC states that when germs are not washed off our hands, they can be transferred from person to person and facilitate the spread of disease.
How to Properly Wash Your Hands in 5 Steps
Proper handwashing is critical. To ensure that your hands are germ-free, follow these 5 steps every time you wash your hands:
- Turn on clean, running water (hot or cold). Wet your hands, turn off the tap, and apply soap.
- Once the soap is applied to your hands, rub your hands together. Make sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
- Scrub your hands together for at least 20 seconds. To time yourself, hum “Happy Birthday” from beginning to end two times.
- Turn on the water and rinse your hands well.
- Dry your hands with a clean towel or air dry them.
Wash Your Hands Regularly
In addition to washing your hands regularly, knowing when to wash your hands is one of the most important steps we can take to protect ourselves and our communities from COVID-19. The CDC recommends hand washing on the following occasions to prevent the spread of germs:
- Before, during, and after food preparation
- Before eating a meal or a snack
- Before and after caring for a person who is vomiting or has diarrhea
- Before and after treating a cut, open wound, or doing any First Aid
- After using the toilet or being in a restroom
- After changing a diaper or assisting a child who has used the toilet
- After coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose
- After touching an animal, feeding an animal, or handling animal waste
- After touching animal treats or food
- After touching garbage or any waste
When to Use Hand Sanitizer
While washing your hands with soap and water is the best way to eliminate germs, hand sanitizer is a good alternative when soap and water are not available. Hand sanitizer should contain at least 60% alcohol. To see how much alcohol a hand sanitizer contains, read the product label.
How to Use Hand Sanitizer
- Apply the hand sanitizer to the palm of one hand. Read the label to learn the correct amount for the specific product.
- Rub hands together.
- Rub the hand sanitizer gel over the backs of your hands, the palms of your hands, and between your fingers until your hands are dry, about 20 seconds.
General Tips to Prevent the Spread of Germs
- Avoid touching your hands, face, and hair to prevent germs from entering your body through your nose, mouth, or eyes.
- Encourage children, friends, and family to wash their hands regularly.
- Sanitize commonly touched surfaces at home and at work.
- Share this information with friends and family!
We are here to support you and answer any questions you have. Thank you for doing your part to keep yourself and your community safe!
For more information and to read the CDC guidelines for handwashing, click here.