How can people protect themselves?
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. The virus spreads mainly from person-to-person between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). This occurs by respiratory droplets produced 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. Surfaces can also get infected. Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like hypertension, obesity, heart or lung disease , diabetes or asthma seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. Every person has a role to play. So much of protecting yourself and your family comes down to common sense:
- Stay home except for essential needs/activities.
- Practice physical distancing – stay 6 feet away from people.
- Wear a cloth face mask if you leave home.
- Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. If surfaces are dirty, clean them using detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your elbow or a tissue. Wash hands afterwards.
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
- Stay home and away from people if you become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough.
- If you smoke or vape, consider quitting. Smoking and vaping causes harm to the lungs.
- Follow guidance from public health officials.
Please consult with your health care provider about additional steps you may be able to take to protect yourself.