How to wash your hands properly to reduce the spread of coronavirus
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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.

How long should I wash my hands?

Science has shown that washing your hands for 20 seconds is effective in killing germs. Don’t have the patience for this? Experts say that washing your hands while singing Happy Birthday twice makes the experience quick and pleasant.

When should I use hand sanitizer?

Alcohol-based hand sanitizer (containing at least 60% alcohol) is helpful in protecting against the spread of germs and viruses. However, handwashing with soap and water is still best. Hand sanitizer  is effective when soap and water are not available. This includes when taking public transportation and it’s difficult to get to a bathroom (airplane, train, bus). Carrying a travel size bottle of hand sanitizer makes it easy to disinfect your hands in these situations. Some people use it when they sit down to eat at a restaurant. Others use it when they are in the presence of crowds (games, church service, school meetings).

Apply a generous drop of hand sanitizer to the palm of your hand and rub it across both hands, front and back, and fingertips.