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Concerns about germ-avoidance habits decrease as pandemic continues: survey

Photo: kieferpix/iStockphoto

Menomonee Falls, WI — Americans are washing their hands less frequently as the COVID-19 pandemic enters its third year, results of a recent survey show.

For its annual Healthy Handwashing Survey, Bradley Corp., a manufacturer of plumbing fixtures, restroom accessories and emergency equipment, surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. adults between Jan. 10-21. Respondents answered questions about their handwashing habits, use of public restrooms, and concerns related to the flu and COVID-19.

Respondents reported washing their hands an average of 7.8 times a day. That’s a 25.7% drop from 10.5 shortly after the pandemic began. Likewise, uneasiness about contracting COVID-19 has decreased since January 2021, when 53% of respondents said they had a “high level of concern.” That’s compared with 41% in the latest survey.


Other findings:

  • 36% of the respondents say they avoid shaking hands with others – down from 49% in April 2020.
  • 44% indicate they prefer to wave to others to avoid physical contract – a sharp drop from 67% in April 2020.
  • When it comes to being more conscious about germs because of the pandemic, 78% responded affirmatively. That percentage was 89 in April 2020 and 86 in February 2021.

“Germ avoidance and handwashing diligence are two habits that should always be a priority,” Jon Dommisse, vice president of marketing and corporate communication for Bradley, said in a press release. “No matter the time of year or situation we’re in, lathering up, scrubbing thoroughly, and rinsing and drying your hands is something that should be done consistently without fail.”

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