Tips on how to actually stop touching your face to decrease the spread of COVID-19

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Saturday, April 4, 2020
Expert tips on how not to touch your face
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so stop touching your face to decrease the spread of the coronavirus.

HOUSTON, Texas -- With COVID-19 cases in the U.S. surpassing 250,000 by early April, health officials are still recommending basic hygiene tips to limit the spread of the virus.

Experts say one of the simplest things we can do to keep from being infected is to stop touching our face, which the average people does about 23 times an hour.

ABC13 spoke with James Pomerantz, professor of psychological sciences at Rice University, on how to reduce this routine habit.

"Avoiding touching your face is more effective than any other medical interventions for stopping the spread of the virus," Pomerantz said.

His team of researchers at the university created an online chart that lists five tips that should help people stop touching their faces.

"Many of us have taken a course in introductory psychology where we learned about conditioning and the laws of behavior, and how we can establish and change behavior," Pomerantz said. "We know that this works."

  1. Increase awareness. Ask someone to tell you when you touch your face, or record it yourself.
  2. Help others. Try to think of whom you might be protecting by not touching your face.
  3. Do other things with your hands. Hold something in your hands or make a fist for one minute if you catch yourself bringing them to your face.
  4. Change postures. Sit in a way where your hands are not present on the table or the seat.
  5. Practice relaxation techniques. Practice breathing and muscle relaxation techniques.


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