Wash your hands for how long? At least 20 seconds

Wash your hands for how long? At least 20 seconds

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to coronavirus cases in Oregon and across the U.S. Health officials are advising people about the simple steps they can take to avoid exposure to it.

The Oregon Health Authority says steps you already should take to avoid spreading the flu or a common cold can also help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. That includes:

  • Washing your hands often with soap and water.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Avoid contact with sick people and stay home if you’re sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised people that to properly wash your hands, you should scrub them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. You can sing “Happy Birthday” twice to help keep track of the time.

There’s no magic number, according to health officials, but washing your hands for at least 20 seconds has been shown to remove more microbes than washing for shorter periods of time.

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