The understanding of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 has greatly increased since the beginning of the pandemic. Previously it was thought that contact with contaminated surfaces played a significant role in transmission. However, this role has been demonstrated to be a less significant source of transmission than other routes (i.e., aerosol and droplet transmission). However, hand hygiene is still an important control against SARS-CoV-2 and other pathogens. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, or touching your face.
Alternatively, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% ethyl or 70% isopropyl alcohol when soap and water are not readily available.
Wearing your face covering will reduce the dispersal of aerosolized respiratory secretions. If you are in a private setting and not wearing a face covering, remember to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or the inside of your elbow when coughing or sneezing. Immediately wash your hands or use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% ethyl or 70% isopropyl alcohol. Staff should minimize touching their face and instead use disposable tissues. Tissues should be immediately discarded after use.
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The use of gloves outside of a laboratory or the healthcare setting is not advisable. Washing your hands frequently is the best practice after touching potentially contaminated surfaces. When gloves are worn within the lab, they must be disposed in MPW boxes and after removing gloves, hand washing is required.