How to protect yourself and others from COVID-19
- Get Vaccinated and stay up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines
COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing you from getting sick. COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations, and death.
Getting vaccinated is the best way to slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
- Wear a mask
Everyone ages 2 years and older should properly wear a well-fitting mask indoors in public in areas where the COVID-19 Community Level is high, regardless of vaccination status.
Wear a mask with the best fit, protection, and comfort for you.
If you are in an area with a high COVID-19 Community Level and are ages 2 or older, wear a mask indoors in public.
If you are sick and need to be around others, or are caring for someone who has COVID-19, wear a mask.
- Stay 6 feet away from others
Inside your home: Avoid close contact with people who are sick, if possible. If possible, maintain 6 feet between the person who is sick and other household members. If you are taking care of someone who is sick, make sure you properly wear a well-fitting mask and follow other steps to protect yourself.
Indoors in public: If you are not up to date on COVID-19 vaccines, stay at least 6 feet away from other people, especially if you are at higher risk of getting very sick with COVID-19.
Avoid poorly ventilated spaces and crowds
- Test to prevent spread to others
You can choose from many different types of tests.
Tests for SARS-CoV-2(the virus that causes COVID-19) tell you if you have an infection at the time of the test. This type of test is called a viral test because it looks for viral infection.
- Wash Hands
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 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
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.
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- Cover coughs and sneezes
If you are wearing a mask: You can cough or sneeze into your mask. Put on a new, clean mask as soon as possible and wash your hands.
If you are not wearing a mask:
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 high touch surfaces regularly or as needed and after you have visitors in your home. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
If someone is sick or has tested positive for COVID-19, disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
Use a household disinfectant product from EPA’s List N: Disinfectants for Coronavirus (COVID-19)external icon according to manufacturer’s labeled directions.
If surfaces are dirty, clean them using detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
- Monitor your health daily
Be alert for symptoms:
Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
Take your temperature if symptoms develop.
Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.
Monitoring symptoms is especially important if you are running errands, going into the office or workplace, and in settings where it may be difficult to keep a physical distance of 6 feet.
- Take precautions when you travel
Follow CDC’s recommendations for domestic and international travel.