There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Coronavirus is thought to spread mainly from person to person either between people who are withing close contact with one another, about 6 feet, or through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Take Steps to Protect Yourself
Clean Your Hands Often
Avoid Close Contact
- 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 as 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.
Take Steps to Protect Others
Stay Home if You are Sick
Cover Coughs and Sneezes
Wear a facemask if You are Sick
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
- 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
- If You Are Sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask, then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick.
- If You Are NOT Sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick. Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.
- 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 detergents or soap and water prior to disinfection.
It is important to note that older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. Please consult with your health care provider about additional steps you may be able to take to protect yourself.
Source: Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fabout%2Fprevention-treatment.html