What You Need to Know About Hand Hygiene
Since the COVID-19 outbreak entered American shores, hand washing has been touted as an essential method of protecting yourself from infection and combatting the spread of coronavirus. Both the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend maintaining proper hand hygiene during COVID-19 by regularly washing your hands with soap and water.
In addition to following social distancing guidelines and not touching your face as much as possible, proper hand hygiene will help slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus which causes the harmful COVID-19 respiratory disease.
“Hand hygiene is extremely important to prevent the spread of the COVID19 virus. It also interrupts transmission of other viruses and bacteria causing common colds, flu and pneumonia, thus reducing the general burden of disease. […] Hand hygiene is the most effective single measure to reduce the spread of infections.” – World Health Organization (WHO)1
But does soap kill coronavirus? What about hand sanitizer? Our Columbus local movers have compiled a collection of governmental agency guidelines, information, and recent updates to answer these important questions.
Plain Soap Can Kill The Coronavirus
Why is hand washing so effective at reducing the risk of coronavirus transmission? Does soap kill coronavirus? The answer is yes; soap is able to inactivate harmful viruses, including SARS-CoV-2. Like all other viruses, SARS-CoV-2 has a protective outer layer of fat (a lipid layer) holding its structure together. Soap dissolves that layer of fat which causes the virus’ structure to collapse, effectively killing the virus through a process called virus inactivation. Whatever germs, bacteria, and viruses that don’t get inactivated are removed from your skin and flushed down the drain.
Recommended Hand Washing Method
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends washing you hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Handwashing with soap removes germs and helps prevent sickness such as COVID-19. You can use both warm and cold water. Regular soap is just as effective as antibacterial soap.
“You can use bar soap or liquid soap to wash your hands. […] Studies have not found any added health benefit from using soaps containing antibacterial ingredients when compared with plain soap. Both are equally effective in getting rid of germs.” – U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Scrub the back of your hands, your palms, fingers, in between fingers, and under your nails. Wash your hands regularly, especially before eating and when you come back home after being in a public space. It’s also important to wash your hands after going to the bathroom, changing diapers, touching your pets, disposing your garbage, and sneezing, coughing, or blowing your nose.
Use Hand Sanitizer With Over 60% Alcohol
If you do not have access to soap and water at a given time, alcohol-based hand rubs or hand sanitizers are a convenient and effective alternative. The CDC recommends only using hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer kills coronavirus the same way soap does, by breaking down the fatty lipid layer holding the virus structure together. By breaking down the structure, alcohol inactivates the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Alcohol concentrations are important. Less than 60% alcohol content in your hand sanitizer renders it ineffective. Also, anything over 80% alcohol will evaporate too quickly to properly disinfect.2 Recent research has shown that hand sanitizers with 80% ethanol and sanitizer with 75% isopropanol are most effective against SARS-CoV-2.3
In following CDC and WHO COVID-19 safety and prevention guidelines, our Columbus movers are washing their hands regularly and bringing hand sanitizer with them when they are out in the field. If you need to move during these uncertain times, feel confident that our Columbus residential movers will deliver a seamless relocation while ensuring everyone involved is safe and protected.
Here at All My Sons Moving & Storage, we thank our clients for trusting us with their relocation. Given the increased attention of COVID-19 (coronavirus), we want to assure all clients that their safety and our employees’ safety are a top priority. While we’re experts in moving, we want our clients to know that we’re actively implementing the health and safety guidelines outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure we take the proper precautions.
We’ve instructed our employees that experience symptoms, defined by the CDC, to not report to work and instead contact their doctors. We ask that if you or any of your family members have experienced COVID-19 symptoms, please let us know immediately so we can take the proper additional precautions.
As a company, we believe in serving our community and supporting each other, especially during difficult times. We believe in the power of us, all of us!
1. World Health Organization – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Pandemic
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Coronavirus (COVID-19)
4. Ohio Department of Health –Coronavirus (COVID-19)
5. City of Columbus – Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates
1. World Health Organization (WHO) – Interim Recommendation on Obligatory Hand Hygiene Against Transmission of COVID-19
2. Pennsylvania State University – Video: How does alcohol kill coronavirus?
3. James Kingsland, Medical News Today — COVID-19: Hand sanitizers inactivate novel coronavirus, study finds