Normally at a community-level, we focus on the following critical handwashing occasions:
- Before food preparation
- Before eating food or feeding a child food
- After using the toilet
- After cleaning a child’s bottom.
Handwashing at these critical occasions should continue to be promoted during the COVID-19 outbreak. However, to interrupt transmission of COVID-19 you should also encourage handwashing at the following additional times:
- After coughing or sneezing
- When entering or leaving the household or any other building
- After coming into physical contact with anyone outside your household
- After touching surfaces when outside the home (e.g. door knobs, railing, money etc)
- After visiting a public space, including public transportation, markets and places of worship
- Before, during and after caring for a sick person
There may also be additional times that are relevant in your context. If it is not possible to wash hands immediately after contacting any of the above (e.g. whilst in a public place), care should be taken to avoid touching the face. Hands should be washed immediately after returning home.
Source: Global Handwashing Partnership
Want to know more about COVID-19 and handwashing?
- Why does handwashing with soap work so well to prevent COVID-19?
- Can ash be used for handwashing?
- Are some types of soap more effective than others?
- Should we be promoting handwashing with chlorinated water?
- What can we do where soap is scarce?
- Can soapy water be used?
- Is alcohol-based hand rub better than soap?
- What can we do in areas with real water scarcity?
- Can I use greywater or water that is not clean for handwashing?
- Is it safe for people to share handwashing water?
- Do public handwashing facilities pose a risk?
- Can bar soap spread COVID-19?
- What kinds of handwashing facilities should we construct?
- How should hands be dried?