Prevention
 

Last updated: 11/1/2022

There are many tools to protect against COVID-19 and one of the most important is knowledge. You are less likely to get sick when you combine tools, such as getting vaccinated and boosted, wearing a well-fitted mask indoors and avoiding places where COVID-19 spreads more easily.

There’s no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you. Some people may suffer from long COVID (also known as post-COVID conditions) which includes a wide range of ongoing or new health problems and symptoms that can be difficult to explain, manage or treat. The best way to avoid long COVID is to avoid infection, including getting vaccinated and staying up to date with boosters. Learn more about long COVID.

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COVID-19 Spreads More Easily in Some Places

COVID-19 is more likely to spread in places:

  • Where people are not vaccinated

  • Where people are not wearing masks

  • Where it’s crowded and people are close to each other

  • With poor airflow, such as indoor locations
     

 

To lower your chance of getting sick, choose to spend time in places where COVID-19 is less likely to spread:

  • Places where people are fully vaccinated

  • Places where people are wearing masks

  • Places that are not crowded

  • Outdoor places

Get Vaccinated and Stay Up-To-Date on Vaccination

  • Vaccines are safe and effective at preventing serious illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19

  • Everyone ages 6 months and older should get vaccinated 

  • Everyone ages 5+ years and older should get an Omicron booster

Wear a Mask

  • Wearing a mask is an easy way to help stop your respiratory droplets from reaching others and to avoid breathing in droplets from others

  • The State of California requires everyone to wear masks in:

    • Healthcare settings

    • Long-term care and adult senior care settings

  • Masks are recommended for everyone when levels of COVID-19 infections are higher, depending on CDC’s COVID-19 community levels:

    • Low: People who are at lower risk for severe illness can wear a mask based on their personal preference. Those at higher risk are advised to consider wearing a mask in crowded indoor public places.

    • Medium: People who are at lower risk for severe illness are advised to consider wearing a mask in crowded indoor public places. Wearing a mask is recommended in crowded indoor public places for those at higher risk for severe illness.

    • High: People who are at lower risk for illness are recommended to wear a mask in crowded indoor public places. Wearing a mask is strongly recommended in indoor public places for those at higher risk for severe illness.

 
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Upgrade Your Mask

Not all masks provide the same protection. Wear a mask with the best fit, protection and comfort for you. No matter which mask you choose, make sure it fits well with no gaps.

Best

  • N95 (also best for wildfire smoke)

    • Choose a size and model that fits your face and has no gaps

    • If you wear an N95 respirator, you should not wear an additional face covering over or under the respirator, as it can interfere with the seal to the face

Better

  • KF94

  • KN95

  • Double mask

    • Wear two masks (disposable mask underneath AND cloth mask on top)

Good

  • Surgical mask

Fair

  • Cloth mask

    • It should fit snugly and have at least three layers

    • A cloth mask is better than no mask

 

Good Indoor Ventilation or Be Outside