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Infection control & hand-washing

Handwashing is critical in controlling disease outbreaks

Handwashing, when done correctly, is the single most effective way to prevent the spread of communicable diseases. Good handwashing technique is easy to learn and can significantly reduce the spread of infectious diseases among both children and adults. Consequently here at McGill we are stepping up our campaign to promote handwashing, through posters, websites like this one and information sessions for staff and students.

All of our campus buildings are equipped with numerous washrooms and handwashing facilities, and we encourage everyone to use them effectively. When handwashing is not convenient, hand sanitizers can also be used to disinfect the hands. For special events like convocation where handwashing facilities are not nearby, McGill has acquired portable hand sanitizer stations. These have also been installed in certain facilities like the Student Health Clinic.

Many individuals have taken to carrying their own hand sanitizer, probably the best and most convenient approach to hand hygiene for someone moving from place to place. Feel free to share your hand sanitizer with others, but remember that it's preferable to squirt a small amount onto the other person's hands instead of handing the whole bottle over. Keep in mind that these products all contain alcohol, which can dry out your skin if you overuse them, so be judicious. If possible, it's also advisable to wash your hands with soap and water at a sink after several applications of hand sanitizer, especially before eating.

Please be assured that McGill's Pandemic Contingency Planning Group has considered the use of sanitizers at length and will continue to be guided by the recommendations of public health authorities, which so far have not suggested the installation of static hand sanitizer dispensers across campus.

  1. Wash Your Hands Effectively
  2. Use Hand Sanitizer Effectively
  3. How to Sneeze and Cough Without Spreading Germs