COVID-19: What to Know

How can I protect myself and my family?

When it comes to COVID-19, prevention is key. Fortunately, there are many things you can begin doing immediately to help protect yourself and your loved ones. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following preventive measures:

  • Wash your hands often: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This is especially important after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

    Check out this video for complete instructions.

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes: Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues away in a lined trash can and immediately wash your hands. If a tissue is not readily available, cough or sneeze into the bend of your elbow.

  • Avoid touching your face: Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Clean and disinfect: Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, facets and sinks.

  • Stay home: If you are feeling sick, stay home and limit your exposure to others.

  • Limit group activities and practice social distancing: Due to the long incubation period, the best way to prevent this illness is to avoid being exposed. Even if you are not feeling sick, it is currently recommended to limit exposure to large groups and put distance between yourself and other people to help stop the spread of COVID-19. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.

  • 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. If you or a loved one falls into this category, please consult with your healthcare provider about additional steps you may be able to take to protect yourself.