Concerns over the novel coronavirus are widespread. COVID-19 is highly contagious and easily transmitted.
Are you doing everything to stay safe and keep others safe?
Below are steps you can take to protect yourself and avoid the spread of the virus. Scroll past the graphic to read more about individual precautions you can take.
You can find addition information about COVID-19 symptoms, prevention, treatment, FAQs and more in our Coronavirus Resource Center.
Looking for guidance on social distancing? Check out these stories from Your Health:
Clean your hands often
Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. It’s longer than you think, but it’s certainly doable. Sing the chorus of your favorite song (maybe twice) and you’ll be there.
If soap and water aren’t available, the CDC recommends using hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
In all cases, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unclean hands.
Dr. Nick Hysmith, medical director of Infection Prevention with MLH, shows you exactly how to do it — to the tune of a childhood classic — in the video below:
Stay at home if you are sick
Now is not the time to try and push through it. If you’re not feeling well, stay away from others and help avoid the spread of illness.
If your symptoms continue to get worse, contact your primary care physician to determine what steps you should take.
Keep your distance
Make sure you are following guidance of local officials. You can find local resources regarding social distancing, safer at home orders and more below.
Abide by social distancing guidelines by keeping space (at least six feet) between yourself and others from outside your home.
Avoid gatherings of any size outside your household — like a party at a friend's home or a children's play date.
If you attend some sort of public or heavily-attended event, take precautions and put some distance between yourself and others. One specific thing you can do is avoid shaking hands.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Local COVID-19 Resources
Wear a cloth face covering
The CDC recommends wearing a cloth face mask — or some sort of covering — when you are in public settings where it is difficult to maintain effective social distancing measures.
Studies have shown that a number of people with coronavirus are asymptomatic (lack symptoms). Even some who are pre-symptomatic (will eventually develop symptoms) can transmit the virus before showing any signs of it, according to the CDC. That means people who are in close proximity — at say a grocery store or pharmacy — could spread the virus by speaking, coughing or sneezing, even though they don’t appear to be sick.
These findings led to the CDC's recommendation regarding cloth face masks or coverings.
Please note that cloth face coverings SHOULD NOT be places on children younger than 2 years of age — or anyone who has trouble breathing or would be unable to remove the cover without assistance.
Cover your coughs and sneezes
Make sure to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze — and immediately throw that tissue in the trash.
If there are no tissues around, sneeze or cough into the inside portion of your elbow.
Thoroughly wash your hands afterwards, or use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t readily available.
Clean frequently touched or used surfaces
Routine cleaning of high-touch surfaces is important. These surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and bedside tables, among other things.
Also disinfect areas with bodily fluids.
Be sure to use household cleaning sprays or wipes according to the specifications on instruction labels.