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by Alliance Environmental · April 21, 2020

Wash Your Hands

We’ve been told over and over to wash our hands and not touch our eyes, nose or mouth because COVID-19 spread through respiratory droplets.  The CDC currently recommends the general public (except for children under 2 years of age) wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies).  Sometimes, we even see customers wearing gloves as an added precaution.

The concern is that gloves may give someone a false sense of security, and then the person possibly becomes less cautious, touching anything, including their face or their mask.  In addition, there could be a tear or rip in the gloves, or you may put them on or take them off incorrectly.  Gloves do not provide you with immunity or permission to touch everything within reach. Any germs on your gloves can be transferred to all other surfaces and items you touch.

Or, perhaps you wear gloves because of a cut on your hand and you are concerned about the virus entering through the cut.  According to the American Society for Microbiology though, a virus has to attach to its specific receptor on the surface of a susceptible host cell to start an infection. With coronavirus, it is most commonly spread through the respiratory route — when an infected person coughs or sneezes on someone nearby, or when people touch a contaminated surface and then touch mucous membranes on their face.

Time and again, doctors have said the best thing to do is to keep hands clean, thoroughly washing them for at least 20 seconds at a time.  There are plenty of graphics and even videos that show proper hand washing.  Hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol helps, but soap and water is more effective.

And if you choose to wear gloves,  please follow the CDC’s recommendation on how to correctly remove them https://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/pdf/poster-how-to-remove-gloves.pdf

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