OTTAWA -- Ottawa Public Health is reminding you to wash your hands to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Registered dietician Pascale Messier appears in a new video discussing the importance of washing your hand.

“With rising concerns over the spread of COVID-19, Ottawa Public Health wants you to know that Ottawa’s health is in your hands.”

Messier notes research shows hand hygiene is one of the best ways to prevent you or others from getting sick.

When to wash your hands:

  • Before, during and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick
  • Before and after treating a cut or a wound
  • Before and after changing contact lenses
  • After using the toilet, changing diapers or assisting a child who has used a toilet
  • After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
  • After being in a public place or outdoors
  • After handling garbage

Wash your hands the right way

Messier’s tips for washing your hands

  1. Wet your hands under warm running water
  2. Apply liquid soap, lather and rub your hands for 20 seconds (sing Happy Birthday twice)
  3. Rinse your hands
  4. Towel or air dry your hands
  5. Turn the tap off with the towel or your sleeve

If soap and water is not available, Ottawa Public Health recommends using hand sanitizer.

Messier says experts suggest washing your hands for 15 to 20 seconds “allows for a proper lather and enough friction to properly clean hands.”