Mike Pence and Jay Inslee were photographed using a handshake alternative where you bump elbows, amidst the coronavirus outbreak

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren
  • Vice President Mike Pence used an alternative form of greeting in an effort to reduce the risk of catching the new coronavirus.
  • Instead of shaking hands, Pence bumped elbows with Washington Governor Jay Inslee.
  • Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dubbed this move the “corona shake,” according to Page Six.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Vice President Mike Pence greeted Washington Governor Jay Inslee by bumping elbows instead of a more common handshake.

The greeting is an alternative to handshaking, which could spread germs including the novel coronavirus from one person to the next. Some companies have advised against or even banned handshaking to curb the spread of the new virus. And health experts have said proper handwashing could help people protect themselves from catching the virus.

Pence elbow shakeGlen Stubbe/Star Tribune via Getty Image

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dubbed the greeting the “corona shake” according to Page Six. Clinton also refused to shake hands or hug fans at a the premiere of her new Hulu documentary and insisted on bumping elbows.

President Donald Trump, who is a germaphobe, will continue to shake hands, according to NPR. Trump said “you can’t be a politician and not shake hands.”

Experts have said that while it appears that the most common way this virus spreads is from person-to-person through respiratory droplets, it’s especially important to wash your hands given that it could stay on surfaces for as long as days.

Other things that can be done to limit the risk of catching the new virus includes keeping at least a six foot distance from people who are sick, staying home from work when you’re sick, covering coughs and sneezes either with a tissue or your elbow, and avoiding touching your face.

The US has had 12 deaths from the coronavirus that causes the disease known as COVID-19, and more than 220 people have been infected with the new coronavirus. Washington state has been one of the worst hit with 11 of the 12 deaths, most were tied to one nursing home.

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