Stop the Spread of Germs


 Hand Washing

Rub your hands together for at least 20 seconds using warm running water and soap.

Wash under fingernails, between fingers, back of hands and wrists.

Rinse your hands well under warm running water.

Dry your hands completely. In the home, change hand washing towels often.

​When should I was my hands?

​Wash Hands After:

  • Coughing, sneezing, or touching objects and surfaces. You can also use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
  • Using the bathroom or helping a child use the bathroom
  • Changing a diaper; wash the child’s hands too
  • Handling items soiled with body fluids or wastes such as blood, drool, urine, stool, or discharge from nose or eyes
  • Arriving home from day care, friend’s home, outing, or school
  • Cleaning up messes
  • Handling a sick child
  • Touching an animal or pet

Wash hands before:

  • Preparing or serving food
  • Eating or drinking

Hand Washing in Public Bathrooms

  • Dry your hands with a single-use paper towel (or with hot air blow dryer).
  • If towel dispenser has a handle, be sure to roll the paper down before you wash your hands. This helps to ensure that you will not pick up new germs from the handle.
  • For hand-held faucets, turn off water using a paper towel instead of bare hands so you will not pick up new germs on your clean hands.
  • Open the bathroom door with the same paper towel.

Always Practice Healthy Habits

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when sneezing or coughing, or cough/sneeze into your upper sleeve. Immediately throw away used tissues, then wash hands.
  • Teach and show children how to wash hands correctly.
Wash Your Hands OftenIt's the most important thing you can do to prevent the spread of illness. Washing hands is more effective than hand sanitizer. Visit the CDC website for more information.

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 Cleaning & Disinfecting Hard Surfaces

What surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected?

Hard surfaces that are touched often or by more than one person need to be cleaned and disinfected as explained above. Examples of hard surfaces include:

  • Countertops
  • Tabletops
  • Doorknobs/door handles
  • Toys
  • Desktops
  • Chairs
  • Bathroom surfaces
  • Drinking fountains

Use sanitizer cloths on electronic items that are touched often. These items include computers, keyboards, computer mice, telephones, remote controls, light switches, doorknobs and hand-held video games. Also use sanitizer cloths on car door handles, steering wheels, and gear shifts in vehicles.

What detergants and disinfectants should I use?

When a surface is visibly dirty, wash with a general household cleaner (soap or detergent). Rinse with water and follow with a disinfectant. When a surface is not visibly dirty, clean with a commercial product that is both a detergent (cleans) and a disinfectant (kills germs). Wear disposable gloves. Make sure the disinfectant product you choose is registered with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and includes an EPA registration number on it.

How much should I use?

Minimum disinfectant concentrations are needed for different bacteria/viruses and surfaces. In general, a bleach concentration of 200 parts per million (1 tablespoon of bleach in one gallon of water) is effective against many bacteria and viruses. Bleach solution of 1,000 – 5,000 parts per million (1/3 cup to 1 2/3 cups of bleach in 1 gallon of water) may be needed to be effective against Norovirus. For more detailed information visit the EPA disinfectant web page.

When using chlorine bleach to disinfect surfaces, use an unopened bottle. Chlorine bleach loses its effectiveness 30 days after opening. A fresh bleach/water solution should be made daily. Spray or use a cloth to apply to surfaces and let stand for 10 minutes if possible. Rinse with clear water.

Always follow label instructions carefully when using cleaners and disinfectants. Pay attention to hazard warnings and label instructions for using personal protective items such as household gloves.

Do not mix disinfectants and cleaners.

Stay in the KnowVisit the CDC website for more information on disinfecting and ventilation.

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