When and How to Wash your Hands Even in Self-Isolation

If you’re staying home, do you really need to be washing your hands as much?

The answer is a resounding yes. Whether you are isolating alone or are in a houseful of people, washing at home needs to be a frequent activity that everyone partakes in.

Simple things such as getting the mail, opening your front door, unpacking groceries, receiving packages all hold the possibility for the transmission of germs.

There are no “official” guidelines on how often to wash when you’re staying at home, but even in non-pandemic times, the CDC recommends washing before you touch food, during food prep, after you’ve come in from outside, any time you go to the restroom, pet an animal, any time you touch another person and especially after you clean up or care for others who may be ill. During the pandemic add on to that any time you touch a door handle, take out trash, wipe down surfaces, touch clothing you wore to the store, bring packages inside, dispose of packages or had any physical contact whatsoever.

A good rule of thumb is to simply wash every time you start a new activity of any kind or complete one. Following CDC guidelines on how to wash is important too. The longer this goes on, the less time we tend to spend with the lather, so don’t skimp or cut back on washing time now. Pump your soap into one hand, lather and wash vigorously for at least 20 seconds — or the time it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice — making sure you clean under nails, between fingers, both sides of hands and up to wrists. Then dry with a paper towel, and use that paper towel to turn off the water before you dispose of it.

Following these general rules at home will help keep being “safe at home” truly safe. Stay healthy. Keep washing.

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