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DOH-Pasco Urges Residents to follow CDC Guidance for Proper Hand Hygiene

By Melissa Watts

May 15, 2020


The Florida Department of Health in Pasco County is urging members of the public to follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and practice proper hand hygiene to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The CDC recommends practicing everyday preventive actions like social distancing (at least 6 feet), wearing a cloth face covering when you are out in public, and washing your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol can also be used, but not as a substitute for cleaning hands with soap and water.

Five steps to wash your hands the right way:

  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.


For the general public, the CDC recommends wearing gloves when you are cleaning or caring for someone who is sick to prevent transmission from infected individuals; however, in most other situations, like running errands, wearing gloves is not necessary. Also, with appropriate hand hygiene, gloves are not necessary for workers unless they are involved in food preparation.

When you are routinely cleaning and disinfecting your home:

  • Follow precautions listed on the disinfectant product label, which may include wearing gloves (reusable or disposable) and having good ventilation by turning on a fan or opening a window to get fresh air into the room you’re cleaning.
  • Wash your hands after you have removed the gloves.

When you are caring for someone who is sick at home or in another non-healthcare setting:

  • Use disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting the area around the person who is sick or other surfaces that may be frequently touched in the home.
  • Use disposable gloves when touching or having contact with blood, stool or body fluids, such as saliva, mucus, vomit and urine.
  • After using disposable gloves, throw them out in a lined trash can. Do not disinfect or reuse the gloves.
  • Wash your hands after you have removed the gloves.

A few DO’s and DON’Ts when wearing (donning) disposable gloves:

  • DON’T touch your face or adjust PPE with gloves
  • DON’T remove one glove, and then pull the other glove off by the fingertips
  • DON’T reuse disposable gloves once they have been removed
  • DO change your gloves any time you would need to wash your hands
  • DO dispose of used gloves appropriately

Safe removal (doffing) of disposable gloves:

  1. Pinch and hold the outside of the glove near the wrist area.
  2. Peel downwards, away from the wrist, turning the glove inside out.
  3. Pull the glove away until it is removed from the hand and hold the inside-out glove with the gloved hand.
  4. With your un-gloved hand, slide your finger/s under the wrist of the remaining glove, taking care not to touch the outside of the glove.
  5. Again, peel downwards, away from the wrist, turning the glove inside out.
  6. Continue to pull the glove down and over the inside-out glove being held in your gloved hand.
  7. This will ensure that both gloves are inside out, one glove enveloped inside the other, with no contaminant on the bare hands.

For more information on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19, visit

For more information from the CDC on when and how to wash your hands, visit

For general information on COVID-19 in Florida, visit, email or call (866) 779-6121.