Coronavirus Prevention: How to properly wash your hands

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- As concern over the novel coronavirus outbreak grows, health officials continue to reiterate that one of the best ways to protect yourself is also one of the simplest: washing your hands.

But many of us don't wash our hands the right way. So ABC7 News got a best practices hand-washing tutorial from Dr. Tomas Aragon, a San Francisco public health officer and epidemiologist.

1.) Use warm or cold water to wet your hands: It doesn't necessarily need to be scalding hot water to kill germs, but your hands need to be fully wet.

2.) Use soap: You need to use enough soap to cover the entire surface of each hand.

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3.) Rub your hands together for at least 20 seconds: The friction of your hands is the key cleaning tool. It should work the soap up into a lather. An easy way to know you've been doing it long enough, count to 20 or sing the ABC's song.

4.) Scrub all parts of your hand: You want to get the backs of your hands, interlace your fingers, scrub your thumbs, and even under your fingernails where a lot of bacteria can live. A good motion to do is to take your finger tips and scrub the palm of the opposite hand. Microbes can live on all parts of your hand.

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5.) Rinse off all the soap: When the residue is all off your hands then they should be pretty clean. Make sure that when you are washing you also keep your hands pointed down so dirty water does not get on your clothes, keeping germs on your person.

6.) When done don't recontaminate: You want to avoid touching the faucet and the inside of the sink. Also make sure you dry your hands thoroughly because dry hands spread germs less than wet hands.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also suggests that you: "wash your hands after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty."

The CDC also provided these guidelines about how to avoid catching the coronavirus

Go here for the latest news, information and videos about the coronavirus.

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