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Guidelines on Prevention of Communicable Diseases in Schools/Kindergartens/Kindergartens-cum-Child Care Centres/Child Care Centres  

Chapter 5 

Steps for handwashing with liquid soap and  water

First, wet hands under running water.

Then, apply liquid soap and rub hands together to make a soapy lather.

Away from the running water, rub the palms, back of hands, between fingers, back of fingers, thumbs, finger tips and wrists

for at least 20 seconds.
Rinse hands thoroughly under running water.

Then, dry hands thoroughly with a clean towel or paper towel, or a hand dryer

Cleaned hands should not directly touch the water tap again. Turn off the tap by wrapping the faucet with paper towel or after splashing water to clean the faucet.

Don¡¦t share towels or paper towels with others. 

Used paper towels should be properly discarded in a garbage bin with a lid.

Personal towels should be washed at least once daily.

Steps for using alcohol-based handrub

Apply adequate amount of alcohol-based handrub on the palms and cover all surfaces of the hands.  Rub the palms, back of hands, between fingers, back of fingers, thumbs, finger tips and wrists for at least 20 seconds until hands are dry.

Properly wearing a mask

Choose a mask of appropriate size

Perform hand hygiene before putting on a mask

Face the coloured side of the mask outwards with the metallic strip uppermost.

Position the strings or elastic bands properly to keep the mask in place. Mould the metallic strip to the bridge of the nose. Ensure the mask can fully cover the mouth, nose, chin and fit snugly over the face.

Avoid touching the mask once it is secured on the face.

Perform hand hygiene before and after touching the mask.

Properly taking off a mask

Perform hand hygiene before taking off a mask.

While taking off the mask, avoid touching the mask as it may be contaminated with germs.

Do not reuse a mask. Discard the used mask into a garbage bin with lid.

Perform hand hygiene again after taking off a mask

Procedures of preparing and using diluted bleach

Keep windows open to ensure good ventilation

Use protective gear, such as masks, gloves and goggles

Use cold water to dilute bleach

Use a measuring jug to measure accurately the volume of bleach required
For household bleach containing 5.25% sodium hypochlorite, the methods of dilution are as follows:

For general environmental cleaning, use 1 in 99 diluted household bleach, that is, 10ml of household bleach into 990ml of water
Concentration 500 ppm

For cleaning surfaces or articles contaminated with vomitus, excreta or secretions, use 1 in 49 diluted household bleach, that is, 10ml of household bleach into 490ml of water
Concentration 1000 ppm

For cleaning surfaces or articles contaminated with blood spillage, use 1 in 4 diluted household bleach, that is, 10ml of household bleach into 40ml of water
Concentration 10000 ppm

Points to note while using diluted household bleach

Avoid using bleach on metals, wool, nylon, silk, dyed fabric and painted surfaces.

Don¡¦t touch the eyes. If bleach has spilled into the eyes, rinse with water immediately for at least 15 minutes and consult a doctor promptly.

Since chemical reaction may lead to accident, bleach must not be used together or mixed with other household detergents

Besides, bleach should be stored in a cool and shaded place and out of reach of children.

The active ingredient of bleach decomposes as time goes by. Hence, it is advisable to buy recently made bleach and avoid over-stocking

Diluted bleach should be used within 24 hours after preparation.

Handling Vomitus

Staff should put on appropriate personal protective equipment, for example, gloves, masks, etc

First, use highly absorbent disposable towels or materials to wipe away the vomitus from outward to inward

Then, disinfect the surface and neighboring 2-metre areas, from outward to inward, with an appropriate disinfectant, for example, 1 in 49 diluted household bleach

Put contaminants into a plastic bag, seal up the bag and discard it into a garbage bin with lid

Leave the bleach for 15 to 30 minutes, then rinse with water and wipe dry.

Use 70% alcohol to disinfect metallic surfaces.

Handling contaminated linen and clothing

Staff should first put on appropriate personal protective equipment such as gloves and masks

disposable gowns or aprons as appropriate

Handle contaminated linen and clothing separately.  Remove bulky waste first

Then, immerse them in 1 in 49 diluted household bleach

That is mixing 1 part of household bleach containing 5.25% sodium hypochlorite

with 49 parts of water

for 30 minutes, and then rinse with water

Afterwards. follow the general cleansing procedures

Staff should avoid washing children¡¦s clothes in schools and centres.

First, remove the bulky waste carefully. Then, put the soiled clothes into a plastic bag for parents¡¦ collection.

For protecting the health of children and staff, you should familiarise and comply with the preventive measures to minimize the spread of communicable diseases

Education Bureau
Social Welfare Department

For more information on prevention of communicable diseases in schools/centres, please visit the website of Centre for Health Protection at


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