Protect Yourself: Wash Your Hands

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person washing handsAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent this illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus.

Another way you can protect yourself is to clean your hands often.

Check your handwashing knowledge against the information provided by the CDC:

  • Wet your hands with clean running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap and apply soap. Why? Because hands could become contaminated if placed in a basin of standing water that has been previously contaminated. Warm water does not affect microbe removal.
  • Using soap is more effective than using water alone since soap helps to lift and remove microbes from the skin.
  • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap, including the backs of your hands and in between fingers and don’t forget to thoroughly wash fingernails. Why? Rubbing and scrubbing your hands helps to create friction which lifts dirt, grease, and germs.
  • The globally recognized time for handwashing is at least 20 seconds.
  • Rinse your hands under clean running water. Why? Rinsing the germs and dirt that was lifted during scrubbing is essential to reducing the risk for illness and it rinses away the soap to also prevent any skin irritation.
  • Germs can be transferred more easily to and from wet hands. Hands should be dried after washing using a clean towel.
  • Wash your hands before, during and after preparing food and before eating food. Wash your hands before and after caring for someone who is sick. Wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, touching an animal, animal feed or animal waste.
  • Wash your hands often to stay healthy.

Be sure to check out the N.C. Cooperative Extension of Swain County ’s website for current COVID-19 information.