Why is it important to wash your hands thoroughly and frequently?
The scientific research shows that regular hand washing improves health outcomes, and is the best and most effective way to reduce the spread of infections. For more scientific research visit the CDC website.
What is the best way to wash your hands?
It’s important to use clean water, liquid or bar soap. Regular soap is fine as antibacterial soap hasn’t shown any increase in protection.
Step 1: Wet your hands
Step 2: Apply soap and lather by rubbing palms together
Step 3: Wash in between your fingers- don’t forget your thumbs!
Step 4: Wash the backs of your hands
Step 5: Wash under your fingernails by rubbing your fingertips in the opposite palm
Step 6: Rinse thoroughly
Step 7: Pat dry with a clean towel or air dry
Step 8: Turn off faucets using towel to prevent recontaminating your hands and discard paper towel immediately
Following this method will ensure you wash for the recommended minimum 20 seconds (about the length of time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice).
Is Hand Sanitizer as effective as washing with soap and water?
If you do not have access to soap and water and your hands are not visibly dirty, hand sanitizer is an effective way to clean your hands as long as it contains at least 60% alcohol. Use enough product to cover hands entirely and use the same method for washing your hands until your hands are dry.
Note: Always wash your hands before eating as alcohol-based hand rubs do not kill some of the germs that can cause diarrhea.
Avoid touching your face, rubbing your nose or eyes, biting your nails between hand washing or sanitizing.
Your Health Matters
Knowledge is power. Do your research, read and take responsibility for the choices you make for your health.
Are you experiencing any of the following symptoms?
- Severe difficulty breathing (for example, struggling for each breath, speaking in single words)
- Severe chest pain
- Having a very hard time waking up
- Feeling confused
- Lost consciousness
If you have any of these symptoms:
Call a health care professional or your local public health agency, tell them your symptoms and follow their instructions.
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We acknowledge and thank all the health professionals who are on the front lines treating and taking care of all those affected by COVID-19.
The courage and strength you exhibit putting the health and care of others ahead of your own makes you the true heroes of this pandemic.