Coronavirus (CoV) refers to a family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). SARS-CoV-2, also known as the Coronavirus. While not common, Coronaviruses can be zoonotic, meaning they can be transmitted between animals and people. Watch our quick video with essential Coronavirus health and safety advice for employers and UK businesses.
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You can help prevent yourself from getting and spreading the Coronavirus and other respiratory illnesses–by following these steps:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact such as kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are unwell.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or shirt sleeve, not your hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.
- Stay home and seek medical advice if you are unwell.
Follow Key Five Steps to Wash Your Hands the Right Way
Washing your hands is easy, and it’s one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs. Clean hands can stop germs from spreading from one person to another and throughout an entire community, from your home and workplace to childcare providers and medical facilities.
- 1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
- 2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
- 3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
- 4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
- 5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
Use Hand Sanitizer When You Can’t Use Soap and Water
Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to get rid of germs in most situations. If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. You can tell if the sanitizer contains at least 60% alcohol by looking at the product label. Apply the gel product to the palm of one hand (read the label to learn the correct amount). Rub the gel over all the surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands are dry for around 20 seconds.
Sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in many situations. However:
- Sanitizers do not get rid of all types of germs.
- Hand sanitizers may not be as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy.
- Hand sanitizers might not remove harmful chemicals from hands like pesticides and heavy metals.
Get in touch with our expert team of Safety Consultants for advice and guidance surrounding Coronavirus health and safety in the workplace.
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