Handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself from COVID-19. That's because your hands come into contact all day long with surfaces that may be covered with germs, bacteria and viruses. Once on your hands, if you touch your eyes, nose or mouth, those germs can make you sick. This infographic shows how long COVID-19 may live on a variety of surfaces based on research conducted by scientists at the National Institutes of Health, Princeton University, the University of California and the CDC.
To stay safe, wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20-30 seconds. If soap and water aren't available, use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
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Date Last Reviewed: March 16, 2020
Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor