Prevention

How to protect yourself and your loved ones from COVID-19

HOW CAN WE PROTECT OURSELVES? 

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following everyday preventive actions: 

  • Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds with soap and water especially after you have been in a public spaceafter blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, before eating, and after using the bathroom. 
  • If you do not have soap and water, use a hand sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they are dry.  
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and immediately wash your hands. 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.  
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick and stay at home as much as possible. 
  • Maintain at least six feet of distance between people and avoid large groups. 
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth mask or face covering when around others. Read more about cloth masks and face coverings in the following section.  

If you or your loved ones are at higher risk, stay home as much as possible, consult with your doctor about additional steps to take to protect yourself, and follow these prevention measures to decrease your risk of getting sick with COVID-19: 

  • Ensure you have enough food at home and that your prescriptions are refilled and up to date. 
  • Avoid large crowds. 
  • Avoid nonessential travel. 
  • Stay at home as much as possible. 

WHAT ARE THE CURRENT RECOMMENDATIONS ON THE USE OF CLOTH MASKS?  

The CDC recommends the use of cloth masks or face coverings in public settings like grocery stores and pharmacies where physical distancing is difficult to maintainCloth masks or face coverings can be made at home with common household items at low cost. However, cloth masks are NOT a substitute for physical distancing; they should be used in addition to practicing other preventive measures, like physical distancing and frequent hand washing.   

Cloth masks or coverings should NOT be placed on children under the age of two or anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask or covering on their own.  

The cloth masks or face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that should be reserved for healthcare providers and other medical first responders, as recommended by the CDC.  

Cloth masks or face coverings should be washed after every use. Washing it in a washing machine with warm water should be enough to properly clean cloth mask or face covering.  

When removing the cloth mask or covering from your face, be careful to not touch your eyes, nose, and mouth and make sure to wash your hands immediately after removing the mask or covering. 


HOW DO WE MAKE OUR OWN CLOTH MASKS? 

The following video shows a quick tutorial on how to make your own cloth mask or face covering at home:  


HOW DO WE WEAR A CLOTH MASK CORRECTLY? 

Cloth masks or face coverings should: 

  • fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face 
  • be secured with ties or ear loops 
  • include multiple layers of fabric 
  • allow for breathing without restriction 
  • be able to be washed and machine dried without damage or the shape being changed 

<!>


WHERE DO I FIND ADDITIONAL RESOURCES? 

Webpages 

Infographics  

Tip Sheets & Guides 

Blogs