How to Protect yourself and others During this COVID 19 Outbreak

Older adults and people with serious underlying medical conditions, such as heart or lung disease or diabetes, appear to have an increased risk of developing serious complications from COVID-19 disease. Learn more about Are You at Higher Risk for Serious Illness?

Know how it spreads

• There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
• The best way to prevent disease is to avoid exposure to this virus.
• The virus is believed to be mainly human-to-humanly transmitted.
o Between people who are in close contact with each other (within about 6 feet).
o Through breathing droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks.
o These droplets may fall into the mouth or nose of people nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
o Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may spread to people who show no symptoms.

Everyone should

Wash Hands Often

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
• If soap and water is not available, use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them until they feel dry.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid close contact

• Avoid close contact with sick people, even within your home. If possible, keep 6 feet between the person who is sick and other household members.
• Place distance between you and others outside your home.
o Remember that some people without symptoms can transmit the virus.
o Keep at least 6 feet (approximately 2 arms long) from others.
o Keeping the distance from others is especially important for people most at risk of seriously becoming ill.

Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth cover when you're near others

• You can transmit COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
• Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example, to the grocery store or to pick up other needs.
o Face cloth covers should not be placed on young children under 2 years of age, anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious, incapacitated, or who otherwise cannot remove the mask without help.
• The fabric face cover is designed to protect others in case you are infected.
• DO NOT use a face mask for a health worker.
• Continue to keep about 6 feet between you and others. The fabric face cover is not a substitute for social estrangement.

Cover cough and sneezing

• If you are near other people and do not have a clothed face, always remember to 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 handkerchiefs in the trash.
• Wash your hands immediately with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water is not available, wash your hands with a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.

Clean and disinfect

• Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, door knobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks.
• If the surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water before disinfection.
• Then use a home disinfectant. The most common EPA-registered household disinfectant icon will work.

Keep an eye on your health

• Be alert to symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath or other symptoms of COVID-19.
o Especially important if you are running essential errands, going to the office or the workplace, and in environments where it can be difficult to maintain a physical distance of 6 feet.
• Take the temperature if symptoms develop.
o Do not take your temperature within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medicines that may lower your temperature, such as acetaminophen