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.

  • Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. Please consult with your health care provider about additional steps you may be able to take to protect yourself.

  • Contra Costa Health Services recommends wearing a cloth mask or face covering, such as a bandana, when out in public to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases. Wearing a face covering is NOT a substitute for washing hands or maintaining physical distancing. 

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.

Avoid close contact

Take Steps to Protect Others

Stay home if you're sick

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.

Wear a cloth face covering when you go out

  • A bandana or similar reusable covering works fine if it covers the nose and mouth. Learn how to make a face covering.

  • You may wear a face covering when you go out for essential activities, such as going to the grocery store

  • Wash face coverings frequently, and don’t use ones with holes or tears, or that do not easily stay on your face

  • There is limited evidence to suggest wearing cloth face coverings in public during a pandemic may help reduce disease transmission. Their primary role is to reduce the release of infectious particles into the air when the wearer coughs, sneezes or talks

  • If you are sick:  You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle), before you enter a healthcare provider’s office, grocery store or other essential business still open to the public. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick.

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.

Content source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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