Wellness COVID-19

Good hygiene at the gas station

Photo: Michael Sharkey

The next time you fuel up at a gas station, consider this: Most pump handles contain 11,000 times more germs than a toilet seat in a public restroom. And the keypad on the pump? The buttons typically have 15,000 times more germs than a public toilet seat, according to a tip sheet from KeepTruckingSafe.org.

If you go inside the gas station, think about all the other objects you might be touching that others do as well. This includes door handles, restroom faucets, soft drink fountains, and lottery ticket or movie rental machines.

“Handwashing is even more vital during the COVID-19 [pandemic] because the virus can live for up to 72 hours on plastics, 48 hours on stainless steel and 24 hours on cardboard,” the tip sheet states. Washing and sanitizing your hands often is the best protection against infection when it comes preventing transmission from frequently touched objects.

Tips include:

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, and don’t bite your fingernails.
  • Make sure you have enough soap and hand sanitizer at all times for ready use.
  • Wet, lather and scrub your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, then rinse and dry them with a clean towel.
  • Clean under your fingernails and keep them short and trimmed.
  • If soap and water aren’t available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Make sure the sanitizer covers your entire hands and rub them together until they feel dry.

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