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How to Keep Your Wheelchair and Hands Clean During COVID-19

September 25, 2020

These wheels are made for rolling, and that’s just what they’ll do!

Your day-to-day life may look a little different in the time of COVID-19, but one thing is for sure, the wheels of your wheelchair are still going to get dirty. During the pandemic, it is important to keep in mind that the most serious germs to avoid transferring to your face are the ones on high-touch surfaces (like elevator buttons or door handles) versus the germs that your wheels are picking up from the ground.

Key strategies to help protect your face from germs:

  • Have easily accessible hand sanitizer with you at all times.
  • Wear a mask. It provides some protection from inhaling germs, but it also keeps you from touching your nose and mouth with dirty hands.
  • Avoid places with lots of unmasked people. This is especially important if your community has widespread COVID-19 transmission. If you are unsure of what your community transmission level is, check out this free tool offered by Johns Hopkins.
  • After each outing, wipe the high-touch surfaces of your wheelchair while you are still near your front door to reduce tracking germs into your living space.
  • Use disposable gloves while out at places with a lot of shared high-touch surfaces, like the grocery store. As an alternative option, have a second pair of gloves to use on outings that you can wash while you use another pair of gloves. Reusable gloves should be washed daily.

If you're looking for additional tips for wheelchair safety, check out our playlist of wheelchair skills, including one-person assists going up and down stairs (also below) and slide board transfers.