How to Protect Yourself from Coronavirus (COVID-19)
If you’re anxious about the spread of COVID-19, keep these tips in mind.
As coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread across the U.S. and around the world, many Americans are concerned about what they can do to protect themselves and their families from getting sick.
Here are some tips to help you avoid contacting coronavirus (COVID-19):
- Wash your hands. Frequent hand washing is one of the most effective ways to avoid getting coronavirus (COVID-19), or illnesses such as colds and flu. During the SARS epidemic, hand-washing was shown to reduce the risk of transmission by 30-50%. Using soap and water is the best way to keep hands germ-free. Lather up and wash hands for at least 20 seconds, or about the time it takes to sing the Happy Birthday song twice. Then rinse hands well with clean running water and dry. If soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, although this is not as effective as hand-washing.
- Keep hands away from your face. Your hands touch many surfaces all day long and even if you wash them often, you can still wind up with viruses and bacteria on your hands. When you touch your mouth, nose or eyes, it makes it easier for the germs on your hands to enter your body and make you sick.
- Avoid sick people. COVID-19 spreads by coming in contact with respiratory droplets of an infected person. Droplets from a cough or sneeze can travel up to six feet away. If you see anyone coughing or with other visible signs of illness (whether you suspect they are ill or not), stay as far away as you can.
- Stay home if you're sick. If you are ill, whether you suspect coronavirus (COVID-19) or not is to blame, stay home. The best way to avoid spreading illness is to stay away from others if you are sick.
- Have a plan. To help ease your anxiety, be prepared for quarantines or other disruptions. Stock up on water, nonperishable food, household and pet supplies, as well as medications. But don't stockpile more than you need - remember that everyone needs to wash their hands to avoid spreading the illness, not just you. Make plans for how you'll care for children home from school or older parents that are most at risk.
- Don’t get caught up in the hype. It’s important to stay vigilant and pay attention to trusted information about coronavirus (COVID-19) such as Centers for Disease Control and the Los Angeles Department of Public Health.
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