Washing your hands might be something you do every day without giving it much thought. But in the age of coronavirus, hand washing has taken on a new significance.
Proper hand washing has been identified as one of the best ways to avoid getting coronavirus and one of the most effective measures to prevent its spread.
A key plank of the World Health Organisation’s official advice about protecting ourselves from coronavirus is to wash our hands often with soap and water.
Hand washing has taken on such importance, Neil Diamond has rewritten one of his classic songs to encourage us all to wash our hands.
Stay safe out there! “Hands… washing hands..” 🎶 pic.twitter.com/QaRB1qZshp
— Neil Diamond (@NeilDiamond) March 22, 2020
COVID-19 is a new disease, so there is no immunity to it in our community. This lack of immunity means COVID-19 can spread widely and quickly, and we have seen that happen in countries like China and Italy.
The virus can spread from person to person through contact with an infectious person, contact with droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze, and touching objects or surfaces, such as door handles or mobile phones, that have cough or sneeze droplets from an infected person on them – and then touching their mouth or face.
It’s not that nice to think about.
Because people touch their faces so often – one study found people touch their faces 23 times an hour – the disease is often spread by a person touching a contaminated surface and then transporting the germ on their hand to their nose, mouth or eyes.
According to the World Health Organisation, we should be washing our hands after:
Aged care providers all over Australia have been updating their hand washing advice and instructions, offering training and reminders of this simple, but proven measure in the fight against disease.
But here at HelloCare we have become aware that not all aged care staff are adopting the recommended hand-washing procedures. We have heard of aged care staff members washing their hands while wearing gloves, and using hand sanitizer on their gloved hands.
This is the correct way to wash your hands.
It’s also important to think about when aged care workers should be washing their hands.
The ‘5 moments for hand hygiene’ model defines the occasions healthcare workers should perform hand hygiene.
The 5 moments for hand hygiene are:
Have you changed the way you wash your hands in response to coronavirus? Have you seen others not washing their hands properly?