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Keeping our hands clean

We should all continue to wash our hands often, with soap and water or a hand sanitiser gel.

Why are we being asked to wash our hands more?

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness, meaning it is mostly spread through virus-laden droplets from coughs and sneezes.

However, the virus can be transferred onto your hands from a contaminated surface.

If you have the virus on your hands, you can infect yourself by touching your eyes, mouth or nose. You might think that you don’t touch your face very often, but it’s much more than you realise. A 2015 study found that people touch their faces an average of 23 times an hour.

Not only will it help to protect you, but it will be vital to help stop the spread of COVID-19 to others.

How often should I be washing my hands?

There is no exact number, but you are advised to always wash your hands for at least 20 seconds when you:

  • Get home from a walk or exercise, or into work.
  • Blow your nose, sneeze or cough.
  • Eat or handle food.

What is the best way to wash my hands?

It is important to be thorough when washing hands, with water and soap, or sanitiser. This means getting under the fingernails, between the fingers, and on the back of your hands too – areas that are often neglected.

This NHS poster gives a good guide for how to make sure you’re washing your hands properly.

If you’ve got young children, why not make it into something fun? There are plenty of resources out there – this video is one of our favourites.

How effective is handwashing in preventing COVID-19?

Very. Regular, thorough handwashing is known to be the most effective intervention in combatting the spread of viruses.

Preventing the spread of COVID-19

The health and wellbeing of our community is of the utmost importance to us.

So now, more than ever, it is important to keep following government advice in order to stop the spread of COVID-19. By staying at home (other than for daily exercise, food shopping and essential work), we will help to protect the NHS and care staff and save lives.

You can read more about the government guidelines here:

For more specific advice around healthcare and COVID-19, visit the NHS page here:

22nd April 2020