Updated CDC guidelines support the use of hand dryers for hand hygiene

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently updated handwashing guidelines, standardizing language and updating visuals. Though hand dryers have always been recommended by the organization, language around the topic of hand drying was inconsistent across industries and materials. Now, with the latest updates, the CDC’s stance is unequivocally clear: hand dryers are a supported hand drying solution.

Updated CDC guidelines support the use of hand dryers for hand hygiene
The CDC supports hand dryers for hand hygiene. (Graphic: Business Wire)

The CDC has shared that “germs spread more easily when hands are wet” and recommends thorough hand drying with clean towels or hand dryers to mitigate germ transfer and the spread of viruses like COVID-19. The organization’s robust hand hygiene media library now visually depicts both towels and hand dryers as a means to complete hygienic hand drying in materials supporting the Stop Germs! Wash Your Hands campaign including fact sheets, posters and other downloadable assets. Additionally, CDC hand drying FAQs and reopening guidelines across industries, including schools, make specific mention of hand dryers among recommended supplies to have on hand.

Hand drying is a critical step of proper hand hygiene but has not received the same media attention that handwashing has throughout the pandemic. Ask most anyone how long you should wash your hands and they’re likely to respond with ’20 seconds’ or ‘the amount of time it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice.’ I don’t believe they realize how important hand drying is to the process and am hopeful the updated materials will help to mitigate confusion and, in turn, the virus’ spread.”

William Gagnon, Vice president of marketing and sales, Excel Dryer

Excel Dryer’s line of sensor-activated, touchless hand dryers have long been trusted to achieve proper hand hygiene by retail stores, airports, restaurants, schools and universities, stadiums and arenas, hospitals and healthcare facilities, public safety complexes—and any commercial facility with public and/or employee restrooms.

The CDC’s updated guidelines provide peace of mind to facility managers and members of the public who will interact with hand dryers as these sites reopen.

We encourage policy makers, owners, operators and any decision makers or organizations responsible for commercial facilities to consult the updated CDC hygiene resources when reopening guidelines are formulated. In some instances, these guidelines will need to be updated to correct incorrect guidance on the use of hand dryers. The CDC has made this point clear: hand dryers are recommended.”

William Gagnon

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