How to wash your hands for COVID-19 prevention

Hand washing compliance at one hospital has dropped back down to its pre-pandemic levels after earlier COVID-19 worries caused it to improve, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

The study of the hand hygiene compliance of workers at the University of Chicago Medical Center was conducted using a automated system that monitors how often staff would wash or sanitize their hands before and after being in a patient's room, reports Becker's Hospital Review. Hand washing compliance reached an impressive peak of 92.8 percent across all university hospitals on March 29, 2020, just weeks after the pandemic began to rock the nation. For context, it was at just 54.5 percent back in September 2019.

However, complacency and pandemic fatigue would eventually win out, as the compliance fell down to 56 percent for the month of August 2020.

The authors of the study say it proves great hand hygiene compliance is possible, but the decrease experienced at the university's facilities shows it might not last long, and that all hospitals must be aware that it could be dipping as COVID-19 surges.