Fight Germs. Wash Your Hands!

Proper handwashing is key to stopping the spread of germs

The University of Oregon is reminding the campus community that the best way to prevent COVID-19 is to avoid being exposed to the virus. Some general precautions should always be taken to prevent the spread of respiratory diseases:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home if you are sick. Do not go to work or to class. 
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

UO health officials are encouraging faculty, staff, students and visitors to learn the Centers for Disease Control’s five steps for proper handwashing.

The CDC says washing your hands is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs. Clean hands can stop germs from spreading from one person to another and throughout an entire community, from your home and workplace to child care facilities and hospitals.

Follow these five steps every time:

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.