There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus (and avoid exposing other people). Here’s how:
Practice social distancing
If you are around other people, keep 6 feet between you when possible. Avoid hugs, handshakes, large gatherings and close quarters.
Why? The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. When someone coughs or sneezes, they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth, which may contain the virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the coronavirus if the person coughing has the disease.
Clean your hands often
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Clean your hands especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand sanitizer kills viruses that may be on your hands.
Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth.
Cover coughs and sneezes
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash.
Why? Droplets spread the virus. By following good respiratory hygiene, you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
Clean and disinfect “high-touch” surfaces
Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
If surfaces are dirty, first clean with detergent or soap and water, and then disinfect. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants, diluted household bleach solutions, and alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol will work. See how to make a bleach solution if disinfectants are not available.
See more information about preparing for COVID-19 and protecting yourself, your family and your home.