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Take Simple Steps to Protect Yourself and Others From COVID-19

COVID-19, commonly referred to as novel coronavirus, is rapidly spreading globally. To protect yourself and others from exposure, take simple measures: wash your hands frequently; cover coughs or sneezes with bent elbow or tissue (and throw out used tissues immediately) when coughing/sneezing occurs; follow respiratory hygiene; and stay up-to-date on respiratory hygiene measures.

If you need guidance, speak to your healthcare provider.

1. Stay home.

People sick with COVID-19 should seek medical care as soon as possible and ideally remain home as much as possible until it is time for treatment. When leaving the house, they should wear a mask and use separate bathrooms if possible so as to minimize exposure of other household members, particularly frail relatives with chronic health conditions and elderly or frail relatives who may also have been exposed. They should notify close contacts that they may have been exposed in order to monitor for symptoms and get checked promptly should any appear, helping avoid potentially severe illness in later months or years ahead.

People should also travel to locations with lower COVID-19 hospital admission levels as indicated by CDC’s weekly updates of county-level data. This advice applies particularly for those living in areas where severe illness due to the virus occurs at high rates – for instance intensive care units or nursing homes.

Avoid crowded places where many people gather together for long periods, talking loudly or breathing heavily, as this creates airborne particles which could potentially contain and spread the virus to others. Furthermore, large public gatherings such as casinos (you can even play slot games as described on, sports events, concerts, or festivals should also be avoided to keep infection rates at a minimum.

If you must visit public areas, the CDC suggests choosing a mask that fits well and comfortably – either cloth face masks are ideal, though disposable paper or plastic masks can also work. When coughing or sneezing cover with tissues or the crook of your elbow before disposing them properly. Furthermore, regularly washing hands after being in public places as well as before touching eyes, nose, mouth or using hand sanitizers might also be beneficial – particularly after eating or drinking.

2. Wash your hands.

We all recognize the importance of frequently washing our hands to avoid germs that could make us sick, with songs to remind you and signs urging us all to scrub for at least 20 seconds. All that scrubbing may leave your hands dry; use lotion or hand sanitizer afterward to moisturize them and stay safe!

COVID-19 spreads via respiratory droplets, so when someone coughs or sneezes close by, you could be exposed. Maintaining good respiratory hygiene practices helps minimize this virus as well as other respiratory illnesses like colds and flus.

Frequent and thorough handwashing is one of the best ways to combat germs that cause illness, such as COVID-19. Always wash your hands when preparing food, eating, using the restroom or caring for babies, elderly or sick people – or when handling babies themselves! When soap and water are unavailable use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol instead.

When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with either the bend of your elbow or tissue to protect it from being exposed to contaminants that could spread viruses and bacteria to others. Otherwise, cough into your sleeve or arm instead; doing this will prevent touching surfaces like faces or other surfaces with dirty hands, potentially spreading viruses or bacteria onto them and back to other people.

At all times, when washing your hands it’s important to use clean running water and avoid products with fragrances or dyes as these may not be as effective in killing germs. Research has also indicated that plain soap is equally as effective at disinfecting hands than antibacterial hand soaps.

3. Wear a face mask.

COVID-19 viruses spread primarily through respiratory droplets that become airborne when infected people cough, sneeze, talk, or otherwise breathe through their noses and mouths. Masks (or respirators) designed to fit closely over the face can capture these droplets and reduce further transmission by keeping people exposed at bay; masks are especially helpful in environments with many people present, such as indoor/outdoor spaces with limited ventilation or those not up-to-date on vaccinations.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises a distance of at least 6 feet when near people who are coughing or sneezing, since when people cough or sneeze, tiny droplets containing viruses can spray out of their mouth and nose and become airborne before others inhale these droplets and become sick. Masks may provide some protection if physical distancing is impossible, though frequently and thoroughly washing hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap is even more effective.

Two impressive case studies demonstrate how increased mask usage among residents can effectively mitigate COVID-19’s spread in communities. One, wherein a passenger with a dry cough flying from China to Toronto tested positive for it; represents just such an example. People sitting next to him also tested negative, wearing masks to limit any spread of virus to themselves or their fellow passengers. Meanwhile, a Missouri hair stylist became sick with COVID-19. She wore a mask in front of all 140 of her clients and all but five tested negative. If the county level is high or medium for influenza outbreak, everyone aged two years or older should wear a mask in public whenever the community level falls between high and medium – regardless of vaccination status. At risk individuals from COVID-19 include immunocompromised individuals and those not up-to-date on vaccinations; it is advisable for these groups to wear masks at all times when indoor public transit is being used, even when the county level CDC assessment is low.

4. Stay away from crowds.

Coughing or sneezing releases small droplets of fluid that contain viruses into the air around them. These droplets may then be inhaled by others or come into contact with their eyes, noses, or mouths, infecting them further. They may also spread via touching hands contaminated with the virus to one’s own eyes, nose, mouth or through sharing food, drinks or utensils with them – it is best to avoid crowd-packed indoor public spaces that lack adequate ventilation in order to protect ones health from exposure.

At this stage, many outbreaks have taken place at restaurants, choir practices, fitness classes and other indoor gatherings with multiple people present. If you must go into one of these spaces, wear a mask and remain at least six feet from other people if possible.

As well as maintaining proper hygiene, a face mask can also help lower your risk of infection by filtering air through its tightly fitting material and filtering out airborne viruses and germs that enter through its pores. You should select one with two layers of fabric that doesn’t leak when selecting your mask.

As with anything that requires human interaction, handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds should be part of daily hygiene practices. You should particularly do this after being in crowded public places or coughing or sneezing into your hands and before touching your face. If soap and water aren’t readily available to you, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol as an alternative solution; an elbow cover instead can also help protect you from germs when covering your mouth during coughs or sneezes to cover them if they get close enough.

5. Wear cloth face masks when you go out.

With many schools and workplaces closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s wise to remain at home as much as possible while following CDC recommendations. When leaving the house, wear a mask – either homemade from cloth face masks (or bought) in order to protect yourself from this virus and help stop its spread. Also cover coughs and sneezes using tissue or the crook of an elbow when coughing/sneezing as well as use disinfectant cleaners/wipes on surfaces you touch frequently – these measures should all help.

Cloth masks are designed to fit snugly over your nose and mouth, blocking airborne droplets that could potentially cause illness from reaching your respiratory system. While effective for most individuals, they don’t always block all particles in the air. The Centers for Disease Control recommends selecting one that is comfortable to wear; if your medical condition increases your risk for severe COVID-19 illness even at low threat levels, consult with your physician on wearing one at all times.

When wearing a mask, be sure to maintain at least six feet between yourself and others. Also make sure that you regularly wash your hands using soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Avoid public indoor spaces as much as possible, particularly ones in which many people gather together and may speak loudly or shout, breathe heavily or sing for prolonged periods. If necessary, meet with people outside or in areas with ample outdoor ventilation if meeting in public space is essential. Consider meeting in private rooms at restaurants and clubs if this option becomes necessary.