Consistent and thorough hand-hygiene is critical to preventing the spread of germs and viruses, such as COVID-19. Germs from unwashed hands can lead to illness and cross-contamination through the touching of one’s face, foods and commonly touched surfaces like stair railings and desktops.
When to wash your hands:
- After using the bathroom
- After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
- Before touching your eyes, nose or mouth or applying and removing a face covering
- Upon entering and exiting any building, classroom or laboratory
- After touching frequently used surfaces, such as elevator buttons, stair rails and door handles
- Before, during and after preparing food and before eating
- Before and after caring for someone who is ill
- After touching garbage
Alcohol-based hand rub method
- Apply hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol to palm of one-hand and rub hands together
- Rub to cover all surfaces of hands and fingers until dry
Note that sanitizers may not get rid of all types of germs. Soap and water should be used when hands are visibly dirty or greasy.
Soap and water method
- Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails.
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
- Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
- Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
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