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It’s no secret that washing our hands is an easy and effective way to avoid germs and stay healthy. But can we cut down on all that soap and water and just use hand sanitizer to combat COVID-19?

“Washing your hands with soap and water is the optimal way to deactivate and have the virus fall off your hands,” says Dr. Dee DiBona, medical team lead and campus physician for the College of Charleston’s Student Health Services.

RELATED: Find out how social distancing helps reduce the spread of COVID-19.

If you’re on the go and can’t wash your hands immediately, however, hand sanitizer is a reasonable option.

“If you don’t have access to soap and water, a good hand sanitizer – with at least 60 percent alcohol – is a good alternative,” says DiBona.

Washing your hands frequently throughout the day, along with wearing a face covering and practicing social distancing, will help keep you and others around you safe from COVID-19.