Prevention & community spread Take everyday actions to protect yourself and those you love
There are effective ways to reduce the risk to yourself and the people you care about.
Frequently and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, or use your inner elbow or sleeve.Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Stay home if you’re sick, and keep your children home if they are sick.Clean surfaces in your home, and personal items such as cell phones, using regular household products.
People who are not sick do not need face masks to protect themselves from respiratory viruses, including COVID-19. Ill people should wear a mask if they have one -- to protect family members and in any scenario where needed to prevent the spread of germs.
Certain people are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, including:
Older people (over age 60), especially those over 80.People who have chronic medical conditions like heart, lung, or kidney disease, or diabetes.Older people with chronic medical conditions are at the highest risk.People at higher risk should take action now to be prepared for this virus if there is an outbreak in their community. CDC has the information you need to prepare . Everyone's daily preventive actions are important in reducing spread to people who may experience more severe illness.
It is important to call ahead before going to see a doctor or emergency room to prevent the spread of illness. Tell them your symptoms and that you suspect you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 or had recent travel to a place that is experiencing community spread.