Older adults and people with serious underlying medical conditions, such as heart or lung disease or diabetes, appear to have an increased risk of developing serious complications from COVID-19 disease. Learn more about Are You at Higher Risk for Serious Illness?
Know how it spreads
• There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
• The best way to prevent disease is to avoid exposure to this virus.
• The virus is believed to be mainly human-to-humanly transmitted.
o Between people who are in close contact with each other (within about 6 feet).
o Through breathing droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks.
o These droplets may fall into the mouth or nose of people nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
o Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may spread to people who show no symptoms.
Wash Hands Often
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
• If soap and water is not available, use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them until they feel dry.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact
• Avoid close contact with sick people, even within your home. If possible, keep 6 feet between the person who is sick and other household members.
• Place distance between you and others outside your home.
o Remember that some people without symptoms can transmit the virus.
o Keep at least 6 feet (approximately 2 arms long) from others.
o Keeping the distance from others is especially important for people most at risk of seriously becoming ill.
Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth cover when you’re near others
• You can transmit COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
• Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example, to the grocery store or to pick up other needs.
o Face cloth covers should not be placed on young children under 2 years of age, anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious, incapacitated, or who otherwise cannot remove the mask without help.
• The fabric face cover is designed to protect others in case you are infected.
• DO NOT use a face mask for a health worker.
• Continue to keep about 6 feet between you and others. The fabric face cover is not a substitute for social estrangement.
Cover cough and sneezing
• If you are near other people and do not have a clothed face, always remember to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow and do not spit.
• Throw used handkerchiefs in the trash.
• Wash your hands immediately with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water is not available, wash your hands with a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
Clean and disinfect
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, door knobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks.
• If the surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water before disinfection.
• Then use a home disinfectant. The most common EPA-registered household disinfectant icon will work.
Keep an eye on your health
• Be alert to symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath or other symptoms of COVID-19.
o Especially important if you are running essential errands, going to the office or the workplace, and in environments where it can be difficult to maintain a physical distance of 6 feet.
• Take the temperature if symptoms develop.
o Do not take your temperature within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medicines that may lower your temperature, such as acetaminophen