Red Cross reminding people to wash their hands, wear masks

Removing jewellery before washing hands among other suggestions, spokesperson says

Herald file photo

With COVID-19 cases on the rise all throughout the province, Red Cross is recommending the best practices for washing hands and wearing masks.

When washing hands, people should remove all jewellery including rings and bracelets and make sure they wash the skin past their wrist, said Indigenous community outreach coordinator, Lesley-Anne Morley.

“A lot of things can be hiding under those pieces of jewellery,” Morley said.

She also suggested washing hands under warm running water as opposed to standing water. Hands should be washed for between 20 and 30 seconds.

Disposable napkins or paper towel should be used to dry off hands.

“It’s just a surface that only you’re using and no one else is touching,” Morley said.

She added hand towels are OK to use if hand washing is done properly but that disposable towels are the best option.

“If you do have hand towels in your bathroom as opposed to paper towels just make sure that you do wash them more frequently, in particular, before and after you have guests coming who are within your personal bubble.”

Liquid soap is also a better option to use opposed to bar soap, Morley said.

“Who knows what might be sitting on (bar soap) or if it’s been sitting potentially in a dish of some kind as well, things accumulate underneath.”

Morley said if you do have to use bar soap, rinse it off with warm water first.

Morley added there are areas of the hands that people often miss when washing, such as right between the base of the fingers and above the wrist, which tends to be exposed and touching surfaces.

In terms of how often people should be washing their hands, Morley said it depends on their daily activities.

“The more things you’re doing out in a public environment or in an environment that isn’t your home, you should be washing them more frequently for sure.”

Morley also recommended carrying hand sanitizer around, especially if people are running multiple errands. Sanitizer should be used between each location.

Best practices for mask use

Morley said people should wash their hands before putting their mask on to prevent germs from getting onto face masks.

The mask should fit securely and cover both the nose and mouth. People should also avoid touching it once it’s on.

Red Cross doesn’t have a specific recommendation about what type of mask is best, but any facial covering is good to have Morley said.

Morley said disposable masks are best used as few times as possible, and fabric masks should be washed daily. If a reusable mask becomes damp or dirty it should be cleaned right away. If any kind of mask becomes damaged it should be replaced immediately.

While masks are mandatory in all indoor places in the province, Morley said it’s a good idea to consider wearing one outside as well – especially in a busy or crowded area.

She said you may not need one if you’re walking alone outside but it’s still good to carry one with you in case you need to pass a group of people.

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