BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — If you've gone to an open grocery store or pharmacy in that past few weeks, you may have noticed the hand sanitizer aisle looking a little empty. With the coronavirus pandemic overtaking the country, many residents are stocking up.
Sales for medical face masks in the U.S. jumped 319% in the four-week period that ended on Feb. 22, according to data from the consumer research firm Nielsen.
Some people have gotten creative with their anti-coronavirus techniques, using homemade masks and other items to protect themselves. But the Kern County Public Health Department is urging local residents to avoid using homemade hand sanitizer.
"A question that we get asked is "is homemade hand sanitizer safe?" said Michelle Corson, spokesperson for the Kern County Public Health Department. "Homemade hand sanitizer is not something that we would recommend as it would be difficult to determine the alcohol concentration of the hand sanitizer and whether it meets the CDC recommendation."
According to the Center for Disease Control, the most effective hand sanitizer to protect residents has an alcohol concentration of at least 60%.
Corson reminds residents that best way to prevent disease if by washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.