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COVID-19 Makes Hand-Washing Cool Again

On March 11, 2020, the global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization.

But this is no reason to panic!

As medical information on COVID-19 continues to develop, so do the recommendations by public health agencies, our affiliates and various constituent organizations.

However, one of the most effective – and easiest – ways to prevent the spread of coronavirus and many other infectious diseases like the flu is… proper hand-washing!

We use our hands every day for a multitude of reasons. Over the course of 24 hours, you’re bound to pick up a few trillion germs that have the potential to get you or someone else sick.

Numerous research-backed studies prove that regular and thorough hand-washing with soap and clean water kills some germs and washes others off your hands.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends following these five steps every time you wash your hands:

  1. Wet your hands with clean running water (temperature doesn’t matter). Turn off the tap to save water.
  2. Apply soap and create a lather by rubbing your hands together. Make sure to cover these commonly missed places – the backs of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds – that’s how long it takes to hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice. Lathering, rubbing and scrubbing creates friction, which lifts dirt, grease and microbes from the skin.
  4. Turn the tap back on and rinse your hands well under clean running water. Use a paper towel to turn off the water.
  5. Dry your hands thoroughly using a clean towel or air dry.

Wash your hands with soap and running water when they are visibly dirty, or:

  • After coughing or sneezing.
  • When caring for the sick.
  • Before, during and after you prepare food.
  • Before eating.
  • After using the toilet.
  • After handling animals or animal waste.

If your hands aren’t visibly dirty, or if soap and water aren’t readily available, alcohol-based hand rubs and sanitizers also are very effective in killing germs. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands!

Remember: Clean hands save lives. Mahalo for being a superhero!

washing hands procedure

Fezzy handwashing graphic

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