Protect Yourself & Others
Older adults and people who have underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes are at higher risk for developing serious complications from COVID-19 illness. More information on Are you at higher risk for serious illness.
Understand how it spreads:
There is currently no vaccine to prevent the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed.
- The virus spreads mainly from person-to-person.
- Coughs, sneezes, and talking produce respiratory droplets that travel through the air.
- These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
- A person may not show symptoms (asymptomatic) and still pass the virus on.
Be aware that a person may not show symptoms (asymptomatic) and still pass the virus on to you and others.
Wash your hands often
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact
Avoid close contact with people who are sick, even inside your home.
- Socially distance over 6ft (2 arms lengths) between yourself and other people outside of your home.
- Do not gather in groups. Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings.
- Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread virus.
Keeping distance from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
Cover your mouth and nose
It is important to understand that you could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
Cover your mouth and nose with a face mask when around others.
A face mask is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
The face mask is not a substitute for social distancing. Remain more than 6 feet apart.
When coughing or sneezing, always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or use the inside of your elbow or shoulder.
- Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds .
Face masks should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
Clean and disinfect regularly
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, counter tops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
- If surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
Then, use a household disinfectant.
Monitor Your Health
Monitoring your health is especially important if you are running essential errands, going into the office or workplace, and in settings where it may be difficult to keep a physical distance of 6 feet.
Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
- Take your temperature if symptoms develop. Don’t take your temperature within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications that could lower your temperature, like acetaminophen.
For more more information on precautions or what to do if symptoms develop, you can find the CDC guidelines here.