Covid-19 and Hand Washing: When, Why, and How
According to the CDC, handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from getting sick. The following two pages will describe how you should wash your hands to stay healthy. Washing hands is only one aspect of staying safe.
Wash Your Hands Often to Stay Healthy
The following paragraph describes what often really means:
You can help yourself and your loved ones stay healthy by washing your hands often, especially during these key times when you are likely to get and spread germs:
- Before, during, and after preparing food
- Before eating food
- Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea
- Before and after treating a cut or wound
- After using the toilet
- After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
- After handling pet food or pet treats
- After touching garbage
Follow Five Steps to Wash Your Hands the Right Way
Washing your hands is easy. Clean hands can stop germs from spreading from one person to another and throughout an entire community—from your home and workplace to childcare facilities and hospitals.
Five Hand Washing Steps to Follow Every Time:
- 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.
Use Hand Sanitizer When You Can’t Use Soap and Water
You can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to get rid of germs in most situations.
If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Look at the product label to determine alc0hol content.
Sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in many situations. However…
- Sanitizers do not get rid of all types of germs.
- Hand sanitizers may not be as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy.
- Hand sanitizers might not remove harmful chemicals from hands like pesticides and heavy metals.
Caution! Swallowing alcohol-based hand sanitizers can cause alcohol poisoning if more than a couple of mouthfuls are swallowed. Keep it out of reach of young children and supervise their use. Learn more here.
How to use hand sanitizer:
- Apply the gel product to the palm of one hand (read the label to learn the correct amount).
- Rub your hands together.
- Rub the gel over all the surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands are dry. This should take around 20 seconds.
Cleaning and Disinfecting Surfaces According To CDC
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces DAILY. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
- If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
- To disinfect: Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work. Use disinfectants appropriate for the surface.
- Diluting your household bleach
To make a bleach solution, mix:
- 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water
or 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water
- 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and ventilation. Ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Unexpired bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.
- Alcohol solutions
Ensure the solution has at least 70% alcohol. Many laboratories around the country spray surfaces with ethyl alcohol and wipe them dry to decontaminate.
- Other common EPA-registered household disinfectants
Products with claims are expected to be effective against COVID-19 based on data for harder to kill viruses. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method, and contact time, etc.). EPA product list follow this link https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2
Coughing and Sneezing Protocol
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Throw away the dirty tissues.
- Use your sleeve or elbow if you don’t have a tissue.
- Wash or sanitize your hands afterward.
- Try not to touch surfaces and objects that are used and shared often.
- If you do touch surfaces or objects, wash or sanitize your hands afterward.
- Limit actions like shaking hands, hugging, etc.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
- The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
- The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
- These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
CDC has conducted testing and determined that coronavirus can remain suspended in the air for as long as three hours.
When can you stop home isolation after having COVID-19?
If you have COVID-19 and will not have a test to see if you are still contagious, you should only leave your “sick room” and home when ALL of the following are true:
- No fever for at least 72 hours (3 days)
• Other symptoms have improved
• It has been at least 7 days since you started feeling sick
Heads up: People who will get a test to see if they are still contagious should follow different guidance provided by their medical practitioner after the results are available. Also, people with weakened immune systems might have special guidance. Learn more: https://bit.ly/2wf7sS7
Calypso Continuing Education™ Questionnaire: Required prior to entering our offices or prior to our consultants entering a subject property for an appointment:
Covid-19 is highly contagious. To help stem the pandemic and protect your health and the health of our consultants, we need you to complete the following questionnaire.
Facts: CDC believes that frequently the virus has been transmitted by touching surfaces where someone infected with Covid-19 has coughed or sneezed on and deposited the virus along with other biomatter. The CDC has indicated the particles may stay suspended in the air for as long as three hours. Therefore, the CDC recommends social distancing of 6 feet, so you are out of somebody else’s breathing zone.
Please, honestly answer the following questions after due consideration. Thank you so much for helping us protect you and our consultants.
Have you in the past 14 days:
- Traveled to or from one of the affected countries or regions listed as a Level 3Travel Health Notice on CDC.gov?
- Been in contact with a novel coronavirus/ COVID-19 infected person?
NO Yes Not Sure
- Have you been to a health care facility (hospital, walk-in clinic, emergency room) where people infected with novel coronavirus/ COVID-19 are treated?
- Have you had the following symptoms in the last few days: feel uncomfortable, especially with respiratory symptoms (cough, fever, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing)?
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Calypso Continuing Education has excerpted the materials in this flyer directly from CDC, EPA, and OSHA publications.