CNN Health - Handwashing falls to pre-Covid levels despite pandemic, study finds (in the United States)

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CNN Health - Handwashing falls to pre-Covid levels despite pandemic, study finds (in the United States)

Dear Colleagues:

I am sharing this article at the request of Global Water 2020 . Global Water 2020 consists of a small team that has worked on global water issues utilizing a variety of tools including advocacy, financing, research, monitoring, innovation, policy, and communications. Its principals have worked extensively with the U.S. Congress and federal agencies, corporations, foundations, civic organizations, faith-based institutions, universities, and governments and implementing non-governmental organizations.

CNN Health - Handwashing falls to pre-Covid levels despite pandemic, study finds

(CNN) It's the pandemic mantra: Wash your hands -- often.

Do it with lots of soapy bubbles, scrubbing for a full 20 seconds (or the time it takes to sing "Happy Birthday" twice). Rinse, dry and repeat as often as possible. And we did. A June 2020 study by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found Americans said they were lathering up twice as often as they did in 2019. In one Chicago hospital where the use of soap and sanitizer is electronically tracked 24/7 via every room entrance and exit, a new study found staff were 100% compliant just after the virus invaded our shores -- much to the delight of infection control specialist Dr. Emily Landon.

"Our health care workers were really worried about Covid-- they didn't know who had Covid and who didn't -- so they were extremely careful with their hand hygiene," said study coauthor Landon, executive medical director of infection prevention and control for University of Chicago Medicine. Unfortunately, it seems we've all quickly gone back to our old habits. It only took four months for doctors, nurses, techs and cleaning staff to drop back to a 51.5% daily handwashing compliance rate, according to the study published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine .

And a nationally representative survey done in January found only 57% of Americans said they were washing their hands six or more times a day -- such as after using the bathroom, before eating or after returning from a trip outside the home.

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