Everyday Actions You Can Take to Prevent COVID-19 from Spreading

How to Protect Yourself & Others

Know how it spreads

• There is currently no 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.
o Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
o Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
o These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
o Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.

Everyone Should Wash 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.
• It’s especially important to wash:
o Before eating or preparing food
o Before touching your face
o After using the restroom
o After leaving a public place
o After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
o After handling your mask
o After changing a diaper
o After caring for someone sick
o After touching animals or pets
• 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

• Inside your home: Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
o If possible, maintain 6 feet between the person who is sick and other household members.
• Outside your home: Put 6 feet of distance between yourself and people who don’t live in your household.
o Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread virus.
o Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people.
o Keeping distance from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.

Mask Around Others

Cover your mouth and nose with a 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.
o 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.
• Do NOT use a mask meant for a healthcare worker. Currently, surgical masks and N95 respirators are critical supplies that should be reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders.
• Continue to keep about 6 feet 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 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

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. Most common disinfectants will work.

Daily Monitor Your Health

• Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
o 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.
• Take your temperature if symptoms develop.
o Don’t take your temperature within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications that could lower your temperature, like acetaminophen.
• Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.

CDC guidance