Handwashing remains the No. 1 tip for preventing the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). It’s common sense and it works. However, it must be done properly and with soap and water. When soap and water are not available, the next best option is to use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
Proper handwashing not only reduces the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), it can prevent the spread of other viral illnesses such as cold and flu.
Handwashing requires five simple steps:
- Wet:Put both your hands under clean, running water.
- Lather:Apply a generous amount of soap to the inside and back of your hands as well as your fingertips. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds (sing happy birthday) and don’t forget to wash under jewelry and fingernails. Your fingertips are especially important as people often put their fingers on their face, nose, and eyes. This is how the virus spreads.
- Scrub:Rub both hands together and move your fingertips around both hands. You don’t need a scrub brush. You don’t need to make harsh, scrubbing movements.
- Rinse:Return both hands to the running water and gently wash away the soap.
- Dry:Completely dry the water from your hands. Using a disposable towel (paper towel) is best to avoid leaving germs on towels. Air dryers, commonly found in public bathrooms, are also effective.
When do I need to wash my hands?
Handwashing throughout the day is important, but even more important during an outbreak. Always remember to wash your hands in these situations:
- After returning from a public outing (grocery store, work, school, sporting activity, hospital, nursing home, etc.).