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Prevention and Hygiene

Last updated: August 24, 2020

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 (coronavirus).
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.


The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through 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.

Read more about Slowing the Spread.

 

Take steps to protect yourself


Clean your hands often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Clean and disinfect.

  • 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, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
  • Disinfect areas with bodily fluids: Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them.
  • Household cleaners: Use a household cleaning spray or wipe, according to the label instructions. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.

Avoid close contact.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Practice social/physical distancing (6 feet away from others) at all times.

Avoid sharing personal household items if you are sick.

  • Do not share: You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home.
  • Wash thoroughly after use: After using these items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water.

Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home if you’re sick.

  • Stay away from others: As much as possible, you should stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available.
  • Limit contact with pets and animals: You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a face mask.

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.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Stay home if sick except to get medical care.

  • Stay home: People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to isolate at home during their illness. You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care.

Wear a face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

  • If people unknowingly have COVID-19 and are not symptomatic, they can still spread the disease. That is why it is wise to wear a face mask in public. At home, sick people should wear a face mask, and the people who are caring for them should also wear face masks. If you are unable to wear a mask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes.

Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home

  • Stay away from others: As much as possible, you should stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available.
  • Limit contact with pets and animals: You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a face mask.

Monitor your symptoms

  • Call your health care provider: Before seeking care, call your health care provider and let them know that you have or need to be evaluated for COVID-19.
  • Alert health department: Ask your health care provider to call the local or state health department. People who are placed under active monitoring or facilitated self-monitoring should follow instructions provided by their local health department or occupational health professionals, as appropriate.

Call 911 if you have a medical emergency:

  • Seek prompt medical attention if your illness worsens (e.g., difficulty breathing). Call 911 and notify the dispatch personnel that you have (or are being evaluated for) COVID-19. If possible, put on a face mask before emergency medical services arrive.

For more information about COVID-19, call 410-222-7256.

Resources:

En Español:

Practice Social Distancing!

Practice Social Distancing

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through 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.

social-distancing-english

For more information about COVID-19, call 410-222-7256.

Resources:

Practica el Distanciamiento Social volante

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