Each year in the United States, patients get more than a million infections in the hospital while being treated for something else. The best way to help prevent infection is to practice proper hand hygiene. Hand Hygiene Saves Lives shows how patients can play an active role in reminding healthcare providers to practice hand hygiene in hospitals and other healthcare facilities.
Handwashing is an easy, cheap, and effective way to prevent the spread of germs and keep kids and adults healthy. When your family is healthy, you don’t have to worry about missing school, work, or other activities.
There are important differences between washing hands with soap and water and cleaning them with hand sanitizer. For example, alcohol-based hand sanitizers don’t kill ALL types of germs, such as a stomach bug called norovirus, some parasites, and Clostridium difficile, which causes severe diarrhea. Hand sanitizers also may not remove harmful chemicals, such as pesticides and heavy metals like lead. Handwashing reduces the amounts of all types of germs, pesticides, and metals on hands. Knowing when to clean your hands and which method to use will give you the best chance of preventing sickness.
“The purpose of this tool is to assist employers in making (re)opening decisions during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially to protect vulnerable workers. It is important to check with state and local health officials and other partners to determine the most appropriate actions while adjusting to meet the unique needs and circumstances of the local community”
“For the general public, CDC recommends wearing gloves when you are cleaning or caring for someone who is sick.”
In most other situations, like running errands, wearing gloves is not necessary. Instead, practice everyday preventive actions like keeping social distance (at least 6 feet) from others, washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds (or using a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol), and wearing a cloth face covering when you have to go out in public.”
“CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.
*Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face covering without assistance.
The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. *Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance“