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Photo: Adrian Greeman/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images

Washing your hands is the best way to protect against the novel coronavirus, according to doctors and health officials, as the virus continues to spread around the globe.

Why it matters: Frequent hand washing can stop germs from spreading in a community, a known preventative for COVID-19 and influenza.

Pro tip: Scrub wet hands with soap for at least 20 seconds (humming the "Happy Birthday" song twice), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends.

  • Rinse well and dry your hands with a clean towel or air dryer.
  • Hand sanitizer is the next best alternative, but will not work as well especially if hands are visibly dirty.

When to wash your hands:

  • When you're near, preparing or eating food
  • After using the bathroom
  • When caring for people who have been vomiting or have diarrhea
  • After coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose
  • After touching garbage
  • After touching animals or animal waste

Why face masks aren't a good idea: Reports show public concern about the shortage of medical masks, but doctors stress masks give a false sense of security and can do more harm than good.

  • The typical face masks available online and at pharmacies are for people who are already sick. They're not fitted to the face, but they do prevent the spread of mucus.
  • Fitted masks, called N-95, prevent healthy people from getting sick because they help block 95% of microbes. When low-risk countries stockpile these, they're taking the supply away from people who have an immediate need for them.

The bottom line: COVID-19 does not have a vaccine, so wash your hands and cough or sneeze into your elbow.

Go deeper: Coronavirus full coverage

Go deeper

Focus group: Former Trump voters say he should never hold office again

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

"Relief" is the top emotion some swing voters who used to support Donald Trump say they felt as they watched President Biden's swearing-in, followed by "hope."

Why it matters: For voters on the bubble between parties, this moment is less about excitement for Biden or liberal politics than exhaustion and disgust with Trump and a craving for national healing. Most said Trump should be prohibited from ever holding office again.

Updated 13 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong to put tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.