Hand Hygiene Protocol

Needham Public Schools Hand Hygiene Protocol (draft 8/31/2020, updated 8/3/2022)


PURPOSE: To increase the frequency of hand washing opportunities in schools to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses and infections.


Background: Hand washing, or hand hygiene is one of the best ways to protect yourself and others from getting sick. Using soap and water is most effective in removing most types of germs from the skin. Hand sanitizer, that contains at least 60% alcohol, works by killing germs on contact and is an effective alternative when soap and water are not available.


Hand Hygiene is encouraged at the following times:

- Upon arrival to school

- Upon entering a new location within the building

- Before putting on/taking off masks and/or other PPE

- Before and after using the playground and/or other commonly used equipment

- Before and after using frequently touched surfaces

- After blowing one’s nose, coughing/sneezing or touching one’s face

- Before, during and after preparing food

- Before and after eating food

- After using the bathroom

- Before dismissal as feasible



Soap and Water:

1) Wet hands with clean, running water, turn off the tap and apply soap.

2) Lather hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather all surfaces of the hands, between the fingers, thumbs and under the nails.

3) Scrub hands for at least 20 seconds.

4) Rinse hands under clean, running water.

5) Dry hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

6) Turn faucet off with paper towel barrier.


Hand Sanitizer:

1) Apply hand sanitizer to the palm of one hand.

2) Rub hands together.

3) Rub sanitizer over all the surfaces of hands and fingers until hands are dry; this should take approximately 20 seconds.

Our School Nurses prepared a video to help inform students about hand washing.


8/2020 (updated 8/2022)




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