With the outbreak of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in China, there are reports of facemasks selling out online and at retail outlets everywhere. And in photos depicted in news stories about the COVID-19 outbreak, it seems as if everyone is wearing facemasks to prevent infection. While donning facemasks is important for those infected to protect others from getting infected, what is being overlooked is the importance of proper and frequent hand hygiene to prevent the spread of respiratory infections.
Currently, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the public follow standard infection control practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses. The CDC touts handwashing as one of the best ways to prevent the general public, as well as healthcare professionals, from getting sick.
With respect to the COVID-19 outbreak specifically, the CDC recommends the following protective equipment and hand hygiene practices:
- Facemasks: CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear facemask to protect themselves from respiratory viruses, including COVID-19. Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19, in order to protect others from becoming infected. The use of facemasks is also crucial for healthcare professionals and people who are taking care of infected patients in close settings (at home or in a healthcare facility).
- Hand Hygiene: Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol and follow manufacturer’s instructions for use. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
Other precautions include avoiding contact with people who are sick/have symptoms, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands, cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and wash your hands afterwards, and clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and items.
For more information on 2019 Novel Coronavirus, click here.
For more information on hand hygiene in healthcare settings, click here.
For our OSHA Review clients… SUV Ultra 5 Disinfectant & Cleaner has demonstrated effectiveness against viruses similar to COVID-19, when used on hard, non-porous surfaces. Therefore, SUV Ultra 5 Disinfectant & Cleaner can be used against COVID-19 when used in accordance with the directions for use against Norovirus on hard, non-porous surfaces.