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April 14, 2021 2 min read

Mask-wearing, social distancing, and frequent hand-washing are three simple preventative measures we’ve been told to adopt since the start of the pandemic. These measures have proved to be effective many times over once adhered to in synchrony but few us are really following them together.

We’ve discussed the specifics of how and when to wear masks, how often to wash them, and how to remove them, etc. We’ve talked about how many feet “social distance” really comprises and how it’s best to hold meetings outdoors instead of indoors.

Today we’re going to talk about the third step in preventing the virus-spread — frequent hand washing — as recommended by the CDC.

Based on data gathered from various studies, the CDC has come up with guidance on how to keep hands clean in community settings by doing both, handwashing and using hand sanitizers.

The CDC recommends properly washing hands with soap and water often enough since handwashing effectively lowers the amounts of all types of chemicals and germs on our hands. The CDC says,

“Soap and water are more effective than hand sanitizers at removing certain kinds of germs, likeCryptosporidium, norovirus, andClostridium difficile.” 

However, if soap and water are not available, our next best option is to use hand-sanitizers with 60% alcohol. In fact, many studies have proven that hand sanitizers that have 60-95% alcohol concentration are far more effective in killing germs than those with lower alcohol concentrations. 

Hand sanitizers without such levels of alcohol are less likely to work equally well on different types of germs, and can only merely reduce the growth of certain germs instead of killing them. These kinds of hand sanitizers can basically inactivate many different types of microbes but only when used correctly. So what is the correct way of using them?

Here are the CDC’s instructions on sanitizing hands effectively.

“When using hand sanitizer, apply the product to the palm of one hand (read the label to learn the correct amount) and rub the product all over the surfaces of your hands until your hands are dry.”