In the past year and a half, we have all learned how crucial it is to maintain a sanitary environment to protect our health and the health of our loved ones. Sanitizing is an important step you can take to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and its variants.
Sanitizing is proven to be effective and can only take minutes a day to reduce the risk of virus transmission by 99%. Keeping your business stocked with hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes is a great way to maintain a clean and sanitary environment for you and your employees.
Hand sanitization is the first step in reducing the transmission of viruses via contact. We do so many things with our hands and touch so many surfaces throughout our day that our hands can become a haven for microbes like viruses and bacteria. Using hand sanitizer frequently is a great way to reduce transmission and ensure that you and your employees stay safe in the workplace.
Is hand sanitizer effective against covid?
Keeping hands clean is crucial to help prevent the virus from spreading. We use our hands for so many things throughout the day, and sometimes it is hard to be aware of how many times we touch something in our daily lives.
The FDA recommends using a hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol to eliminate any virus on your hands to slow the spread of the virus effectively.
Hand sanitizer should be used after coming into contact with heavily touched surfaces, after coughing or sneezing, or touching your face or eyes.
How much hand sanitizer?
Most hand sanitizers instruct that you use an amount of sanitizer that is about the size of a quarter. You need enough hand sanitizer to thoroughly cover all surfaces of your hands, fingers, fingertips, fingernails, and about two inches up to your wrist.
If you are unsure how much of a particular hand sanitizer you should use, follow the instructions on the bottle of that hand sanitizer.
How long to sanitize hands?
To effectively clean your hands with hand sanitizer, you should rub the sanitizer into your hands for 30 seconds, or about the amount of time it takes to sing the Happy Birthday song to yourself. You should also rub your hands together until all of the sanitizers have dried on your hands.
When to wash hands?
Sometimes, it is more effective to wash hands with soap and water rather than using hand sanitizer. You should wash your hands with soap and water:
- If your hands are soiled
- If you come into contact with grease or dirt
- If you have any cuts on your hands
- If you come into contact with blood
Hand sanitizer vs. antibacterial soap?
While hand sanitizer may be more convenient, it is essential to wash your hands with antibacterial soap whenever possible, especially after using the bathroom, before eating, and after coming into contact with any greasy substance. Antibacterial soap is more effective at removing germs from the surface of your hands like norovirus and staphylococcus but is just as effective at eliminating the COVID virus.
Washing your hands for 20 seconds is an effective way to trap and remove dirt, germs, and harmful chemicals from your hands.
Paper towel or air dryer?
Drying your hands with a clean paper towel or an air dryer is an essential last step of the handwashing process. If your hands are wet, you run the risk of having particles from the air get absorbed into the water on your hands.
Currently, the evidence suggests that drying your hands with a clean paper towel or an air dryer is just as effective at reducing germs and viruses on your hands.
How can I encourage employee hand washing?
To slow the transmission of viral particles throughout your workplace, employees must wash their hands frequently, but if employees aren’t washing their hands, the risk of spreading the virus increases.
Encouraging hygiene in the workplace is the best way to raise awareness about sanitary practices. Some ways you can promote employee handwashing are:
- Using signage and posters to encourage hand washing
- Keep handwashing stations clean
- Providing high-quality sanitation materials
Sanitizing the workspace
Maintaining a sanitary work environment is crucial to slow the transmission of COVID-19 and its variants. Since many people can occupy a shared work environment, you must take extra steps to make sure that your business is as sanitary as it can be for the health of your employees and their families.
Sanitizing the workplace is a quick and easy measure you can take to ensure that you and your employees minimize the risk of coming into contact with the COVID virus and reducing transmission if someone does become infected.
What surfaces should be sanitized?
Studies have been conducted on the survivability of COVID viruses on porous surfaces like wood and fabric and non-porous surfaces like glass, stainless steel, and plastic. And while the studies indicate a 99% reduction in virus survivability on surfaces over 72 hours, it is highly recommended to sanitize surfaces that are touched frequently.
“High-touch surfaces” are ones that one or more people make frequent contact with throughout the day. To maintain a sanitary work environment, surfaces that should be cleaned often are:
- Light switches
- Sneeze guards
- Keyboards and mice
- Payment processing systems
- Any other surfaces that people come into contact with
How often should I sanitize?
The CDC notes that sanitizing once a day is generally enough to remove any virus particles on surfaces and maintain a sanitary facility. Thorough sanitization effectively slows the spread of COVID-19 and its variants by eliminating transmission via surface contact.
Are wipes effective?
Alcohol-based sanitary wipes that are at least 60% alcohol have been proven effective in eliminating the COVID virus on surfaces. Wipes are a convenient way to keep surfaces clean in the workplace, and having fresh, clean wipes available is a great way to maintain a sanitary work environment.
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