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Even amid pandemic, some people still not washing their hands, UK survey reveals

Photo: RealPeopleGroup/iStockphoto

London — Although the majority of adults say they’re washing their hands more often since the COVID-19 pandemic began, 12% report they don’t wash their hands after using a public or private restroom, results of a recent survey out of the United Kingdom show.

Marketing research company OnePoll, on behalf of hygiene safety products and services provider Citron Hygiene, surveyed 2,000 British adults to learn about their hand hygiene habits before and during the pandemic. Results show that 78% of the respondents are now washing their hands more frequently. Additionally, the average respondent spends 19 seconds washing his or her hands eight times a day – up from 12 seconds per wash and five times a day before the pandemic.

Further, 85% of the respondents said they always wash their hands after sneezing, and 83% do so after coughing. Before the pandemic, those percentages were 30 and 45, respectively.

Other results:

  • 40% of the respondents wash their hands after using a smartphone – up from 20% before the pandemic.
  • Half are using hand sanitizer more often.
  • 20% wash their hands more for personal hygiene reasons, 13% do so out of fear of contracting COVID-19 and only 5% do it to protect others.

“It’s everyone’s responsibility to stay hygienic, but it is sad to see that many are not doing this,” Robert Guice, international executive vice president of Citron Hygiene, said in a July 25 press release. “Despite habits shifting, there is still plenty of room for improvement, especially as restrictions ease and we are given more freedom.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.

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