How to Protect Yourself & Others
Know How it Spreads
- There is currently no approved vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
- The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
- The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 2 meters).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
- These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
- Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.
Wash Your Hands Often and thoroughly
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 40 seconds or an alcohol based hand sanitizer for at least 20 especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- It’s especially important to wash your hands:
- Before eating or preparing food
- Before touching your face
- After using the restroom
- After leaving a public place
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After handling your mask
- After changing a diaper
- After caring for someone sick
- After touching animals or pets
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid Close Contact
- Inside your home: Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- If possible, maintain 2 meters between the person who is sick and other household members.
- Outside your home: Put 2 meters of distance between yourself and people who don’t live in your household.
- Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread virus.
- Stay at least 2 meters (about 2 arms’ length) from other people
- Keeping distance from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
Cover Your Mouth and Nose with Mask When Around Others
- You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
- The mask is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
- Everyone should wear a mask in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
- 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.
- Continue to keep about 2 meters between yourself and others. The mask is not a substitute for social distancing.
Cover Coughs and Sneezes
- Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow and do not spit.
- Throw used tissues in the trash.
- Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 40 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol for at least 20 seconds.
Clean and Disinfect
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, 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 Daily
- Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
- 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 2 meters.