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Drew: How to Stay Safe by Properly Washing Hands

By Samuetta Hill Drew

In the midst of this COVID – 19 pandemic, it remains crucial that everyone continues to routinely practice good safety measures such as washing your hands often. This becomes even more important as some states and/or municipalities consider lifting some of the shelter in place orders and reopening various businesses within the next few weeks. Therefore, understanding how to properly wash your hands remains essential to one’s health and well-being.

This week’s article begins a “how to” series on the right way to wash hands, remove disposable gloves, use hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available and wear a face mask. The information provided is based upon the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and recommendations.

The CDC states that handwashing is the best way to protect yourself and your family from getting sick. It keeps individuals healthy and prevents the spread of respiratory and diarrheal infections from one person to the next. Germs spread from other people or surfaces when you touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands, prepare or eat food and drinks with unwashed hands, touch a contaminated surface or objects or blow your nose, cough, or sneeze into hands and then touch other people’s hands or common objects.


You can help yourself and your loved ones stay healthy by washing your hands often, especially during these key times when you are likely to get and spread germs:

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After using the toilet
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal, animal feed or animal waste
  • After handling pet food or pet treats
  • After touching garbage


After being in a public place and touched an item or surface that may be frequently touched by other people, such as door handles, tables, gas pumps, shopping carts, or electronic registry/screens, etc.


  • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Sing or hum “Happy Birthday or Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” from beginning to the end twice.
  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

Washing hands often is a vital safety component to Keeping an Eye on Safety in the prevention of spreading the Coronavirus COVID – 19.