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J Community Psychol ; 49(7): 2441-2453, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1201622


People experiencing homelessness are at risk for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and may experience barriers to hand hygiene, a primary recommendation for COVID-19 prevention. We conducted in-depth interviews with 51 people experiencing sheltered and unsheltered homelessness in Atlanta, Georgia during May 2020 to August 2020 to (1) describe challenges and opportunities related to hand hygiene and (2) assess hand hygiene communication preferences. The primary hand hygiene barrier reported was limited access to facilities and supplies, which has disproportionately impacted people experiencing unsheltered homelessness. This lack of access has reportedly been exacerbated during COVID-19 by the closure of public facilities and businesses. Increased access to housing and employment were identified as long-term solutions to improving hand hygiene. Overall, participants expressed a preference for access to facilities and supplies over hand hygiene communication materials.

COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Hand Hygiene , Homeless Persons , Adult , Aged , Female , Georgia/epidemiology , Health Communication , Humans , Male , Middle Aged
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 69(40): 1443-1449, 2020 Oct 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-842498


Washing hands often, especially during times when one is likely to acquire and spread pathogens,* is one important measure to help prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), as well as other pathogens spread by respiratory or fecal-oral transmission (1,2). Studies have reported moderate to high levels of self-reported handwashing among adults worldwide during the COVID-19 pandemic (3-5)†; however, little is known about how handwashing behavior among U.S. adults has changed since the start of the pandemic. For this study, survey data from October 2019 (prepandemic) and June 2020 (during pandemic) were compared to assess changes in adults' remembering to wash their hands in six situations.§ Statistically significant increases in reported handwashing were seen in June 2020 compared with October 2019 in four of the six situations; the odds of remembering to wash hands was 2.3 times higher among respondents after coughing, sneezing, or blowing their nose, 2.0 times higher before eating at a restaurant, and 1.7 times higher before eating at home. Men, young adults aged 18-24 years, and non-Hispanic White (White) adults were less likely to remember to wash hands in multiple situations. Strategies to help persons remember to wash their hands frequently and at important times should be identified and implemented, especially among groups reporting low prevalence of remembering to wash their hands.

Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Hand Disinfection , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Surveys and Questionnaires , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult