Handwashing is a necessary precaution against the COVID-19 pandemic. The bad news is hand sanitizer has been selling out at drugstores, grocery stores and online retailers. The good news is hand sanitizer is not a foolproof alternative to good old-fashioned soap and water. Sanitizers do not get rid of all germs and may not remove harmful chemicals from the hands. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends following a five-step process: wet your hands with clean water; lather your hands by rubbing them together with soap, scrub for at least 20 seconds (or hum the “Happy Birthday” song twice from beginning to end), rinse hands with clean water, dry hands with a clean towel or air dry. 

While scrubbing, don’t forget to clean between fingers, the backs of your hands and under the fingernails. 

Stacey Sheridan

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