Pima County Health Dept. debunks a few COVID-19 myths

Treat tips from social media with healthy dose of skepticism

Pima County Health Dept. debunks some COVID-19 myths

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - With all eyes on the spread of COVID-19, you’ve probably heard the never-ending reminders to wash your hands and maintain social distancing.

Those are good tips, but the internet is also full of false information on how to stay virus-free.

The Pima County Health Department is working to disprove some of those false claims.

Myth 1: Hand sanitizers are just as good or better than soap and water.

The answer is no. According to Dr. Bob England, Interim Director for the Pima County Health Department, hand sanitizer is a great second defense if you can't get to a sink. However, washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is the best way to go.

Here's how to clean your hands the right way:

  • Wet: Put both your hands under clean, running water.
  • Lather: Apply a generous amount of soap to the inside and back of your hands as well as your fingertips. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds (sing Happy Birthday) and don’t forget to wash under jewelry and fingernails.
  • Scrub: Rub both hands together and move your fingertips around both hands. You don’t need a scrub brush. You don’t need to make harsh, scrubbing movements.
  • Rinse: Return both hands to the running water and gently wash away the soap.
  • Dry: Completely dry the water from your hands. Using a disposable towel (paper towel) is best to avoid leaving germs on towels. Air dryers, commonly found in public bathrooms, are also effective.

Myth 2: The best strategy to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to clean every doorknob or high-touch area with disinfectants.

The Pima County Health Department said disinfecting is a good, safe practice to prevent the spread of germs, but keeping a distance of six feet and hand washing are the two best ways to stay healthy.

Myth 3: The Coronavirus will go away in the warmer, summer months.

Health experts believe it's not likely.

“The problem with that is those brand new pathogens that haven’t been here before usually don’t behave that way. The first time through, they’re not seasonal. So while I hope that transmission gets less in the summer, we’re really not expecting it,” England said.

England said health experts believe we’ll likely see the spread of the virus for several more months. Make sure you keep up with safe practices like hand washing, disinfecting and social distancing.

Myth 4: It’s necessary to wear a mask in public at all times

It is not necessary to wear a mask at all times while in public. Doctors said if you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of someone suspected to have COVID-19.


  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • In order for a mask to be effective, you should also wash your hands thoroughly and frequently.
  • If you wear a mask, be sure to use and dispose of it properly.

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