Throughout this pandemic hand-washing has been a key step in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Germs are everywhere – they can get onto hands and items we touch during daily activities and make us sick. When you can’t get to a full soap and water wash, cleaning hands with hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol is one of the most important steps you can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs.
Why? According to the CDC, many studies have found that sanitizers with an alcohol concentration between 60–95% are more effective at killing germs than those with a lower alcohol concentration or non-alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
Hand sanitizers without 60-95% alcohol:
There are important differences between washing hands with soap and water and using hand sanitizer. Soap and water work to remove all types of germs from hands, while sanitizer acts by killing certain germs on the skin. Although alcohol-based hand sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs in many situations, they should be used in the right situations. Soap and water are more effective than hand sanitizers at removing certain kinds of germs like norovirus, Cryptosporidium, and Clostridioides difficile, as well as chemicals.
Why? Although alcohol-based hand sanitizers can inactivate many types of microbes very effectively when used correctly, people may not use a large enough volume of the sanitizers or may wipe it off before it has dried. Hand sanitizers also may not remove harmful chemicals, such as pesticides and heavy metals like lead.
Hand-washing reduces the amounts of all types of germs, pesticides, and metals on hands. Knowing when to clean your hands and which method to use will give you the best chance of preventing sickness. Additional information from the CDC can be found here.
Both COVID-19 Testing and Flu Shots are available at DPH Clinic Locations, (listed below) in addition to St. Louis County Library locations and other pop-up sites. Appointments are required and can be made online here.
John C Murphy Health Center
6121 N Hanley Rd. Berkeley, MO 63134
South County Health Center
4580 S Lindbergh Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63127
Don’t forget to show us how you are staying safe by masking up! Share your photos with us and be sure to include #MaskUpMondaySTL. Public Health Orders can be found online here.