Learn about proper handwashing techniques — when and how to wash your hands and what to do if you don't have access to soap and water.

Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is thought to be transferred through droplets that occur when someone coughs or sneezes. However, coronavirus transmission can happen in a variety of ways. 

Understanding how coronavirus spreads is an important part of protecting yourself. 

Touching or being around a sick person and then touching your hands, face or mouth can cause you to get sick.

Even if you are not in close contact with an infected person, you could get sick after touching a contaminated surface. Surfaces that we touch often, such as doorknobs and countertops, have a higher likelihood of being contaminated and should be cleaned and disinfected frequently.

The best way to protect yourself from coronavirus and others from getting sick is by washing your hands regularly.

The Correct Way to Wash Your Hands

When to Wash

  • Wash after you shake hands, sneeze, cough or use the bathroom
  • Wash after you touch a door, a counter, a desk or other areas many people use

How to Wash

  • Use soap and water, rubbing your hands for 20 seconds
  • No water nearby? Use hand sanitizer to help kill germs