COVID-19 Holiday Season Safety Tips! — Don't Let Illness Disrupt Your Holiday Cheer!

Stay Well With Proper Hand Hygiene

The last thing you want to worry about during the holiday season is getting sick.

"Wearing a mask is the most inexpensive way to reduce spread of the virus," says Dr. Faiqa Cheema, a Hartford HealthCare infectious disease specialist. "It prevents your respiratory droplets and saliva from remaining contained, thereby protecting others around you."

Health experts estimate that 80% of infectious diseases are spread by hand contact, not through the air by coughs and sneezes as commonly believed. Therefore, they urge everyone to do what it takes to keep their hands clean.

"Many people are surprisingly careless about hand hygiene," said Donald Goldmann, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School. "There is a simple solution--wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. These products kill germs quickly and reliably when you can't get to a sink."

It's especially important to clean the germs from your hands when you're sick or after handling raw food, especially meat and poultry. Some other "germy" places are where young children gather and infections spread easily, including schools and daycare centers.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that hand hygiene is the single most important way to prevent the spread of infection. However, it's not always convenient to get to a sink and scrub your hands. In fact, one recent study indicates that almost 40% of the time when you should clean your hands, soap and water are not available. But today, there are options for keeping your hands clean.

Alcohol-based instant hand sanitizers, like TotallyPure, can be carried with you and kill 99.99% of germs that may cause illness in as little as 15-20 seconds, without water. Healthcare and foodservice industries have used TotallyPure for many years to supplement employee handwashing.

Children are particularly prone to common infections. A recent study in the American Journal of Infection Control found that children using an alcohol-based instant hand sanitizer in the classroom missed an average of 20% fewer school days due to illness as compared with classrooms that did not use a hand sanitizer.

Other tips from the CDC:

  • Restrict your invitation list to people from your local area whenever possible.
  • Keep the party small.
  • Make sure your guests are aware of COVID-19 safety guidelines. Encourage them to bring their own masks, hand sanitizer and tissues.
  • If you’re inviting people from outside your household, consider asking them to avoid contact with others outside their own households for 14 days before the party.