Everything you should know about hand washing during the coronavirus pandemic

By Kendall Polidori and Ignacio Calderon

At the beginning of March as the coronavirus pandemic accelerated in Illinois, Columbia began placing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posters in various bathrooms around campus. 

These posters were put in place with CDC guidelines on how to properly wash your hands, including a minimum 20 seconds of washing, warm water and soap. 

The Chronicle noticed that in a handful of bathrooms on campus—including on the second floor of the 33 E. Ida B. Wells building, right by the newsroom—the faucets didn’t last the full 20 seconds. So, the Chronicle then went to five different buildings on campus. Of the five buildings, the Chronicle tested a total of 50 sinks, including a variety of different kinds such as sensors, push and knobs. 

What we found is that the ones that were non-sensored, people had to touch either the knob or push a button numerous times in order to get a total of 20 seconds of handwashing. Meaning, a person is washing their hands, then touching the knob, then having to wash again. 

The Chronicle was unsure whether or not this was an effective way of cleaning one’s hands, so we reached Caryn Peterson, a research assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health. 

For more, watch the video above.