An online story falsely claims that Muslim nurses in Britain have the option of participating in medical operations or otherwise caring for patients without washing their hands.
The story that has appeared online since at least 2013 recently surfaced on the site vtamedia. It says Muslim nurses feared that washing their hands "compromises their modesty." Islamic law requires women to keep their arms covered up to the wrist.
According to British health care guidelines updated in 2010 to accommodate religious dress, nurses not wanting to bare their arms below the elbow during patient care are given the option of wearing disposable over-sleeves. But the guidelines also say "strict procedures for washing hands and wrists must still be observed."
Health officials said the updated guidelines were developed in consultation with "Islamic scholars and chaplains."
This is part of The Associated Press' ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.