Handwashing and COVID-19

While the risk of contracting COVID-19 in Wendell remains low, it is spreading and influenza is out there as well. One way viruses are spread is by touching things that are contaminated by the cough or sneeze of a person who is sick and then touching your face. We all have the responsibility to ourselves and each other to minimize this spread, especially by washing our hands frequently. Here is the best way to do it:

  • Wet your hands with warm water first. Soap disperses better on wet hands. Use soap; regular soap is fine.
  • Lather up, wash thoroughly: tops and palms of hands, between fingers, under fingernails, and around wrists.
  • Wash for 20-30 seconds. This is about the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice. Wash your hands often, especially after town trips, using the bathroom, blowing your nose, and before working with food.
  • Rinse well. You want all the bad germs to go down the drain. Dry on a clean towel.
  • When soap is not available, use a hand sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol. Cover all the areas mentioned above. Do not dry hands after applying.

Although children seem less prone to COVID-19, they can still transmit it on their hands. Assure that children know how to wash. For a fun way to help your children practice good hand washing, try this activity: Use mineral, olive, or vegetable oil to coat all over their hands. Then sprinkle the hands with cinnamon and spread it around so it gets into the nooks and crannies. Then, using the directions above, have the kids wash their hands until no cinnamon can be seen. It’s a bit messy, but provides great visual and physical feedback for experiencing what good hand washing looks and feels like. Adults can try it, too! (Thank you, Nancy Aldrich, for this idea.)

Other suggestions: Being proactive and prepared is the best way to avoid infection and feel safe. Avoid public gatherings, stock up on food and medicines, use tissues when touching door knobs and such in public places. Clean public surfaces with disinfectant spray. Also disinfect your cell phones. Avoid shaking hands, hugging and “fist bumps;” elbow bump instead.

Questions or concerns? Contact us at 978-544-3395, extension 106 or e-mail .

Wendell Board of Health:
Barbara Craddock, Chair
Judy Bailey
John Sullivan
Wibby Swedberg, Health Agent