According to an article in the Montreal Gazette, using alcohol-based hand sanitizers is not an equal substitute to washing hands with soap and water.

Based on a study, long-term care facilities were more likely to experience outbreaks of the norovirus if staff used hand sanitizers more often than soap and water for routine hand cleaning.

In 45 facilities where staff preferred hand sanitizer, 53 percent saw outbreaks of norovirus. In the 17 facilities where staff mostly used soap and water, only 18 percent saw outbreaks of norovirus.

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