COVID: HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF & OTHERS

Get Vaccinated and stay up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines


Wear a mask

Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and while indoors at U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.

 

Stay 6 feet away from others

  • Inside your home: Avoid close contact with people who are sick, if possibleIf possible, maintain 6 feet between the person who is sick and other household members. If you are taking care of someone who is sick, make sure you properly wear a well-fitting mask and follow other steps to protect yourself.
  • Indoors in public: If you are not up to date on COVID-19 vaccines, stay at least 6 feet away from other people, especially if you are at higher risk of getting very sick with COVID-19.
 

Avoid poorly ventilated spaces and crowds

 

Test to prevent spread to others

  • You can choose from many different types of tests.
  • Tests for SARS-CoV-2(the virus that causes COVID-19) tell you if you have an infection at the time of the test. This type of test is called a viral test because it looks for viral infection.
  • Regardless of the test type you select, a positive test result means that you have an infection and should isolate and inform your close contacts to avoid spreading disease to others.
  • Over-the-counter self-tests are viral tests that can be used at home or anywhere, are easy to use, and produce rapid results. Anyone can use self-tests, regardless of their vaccination status or whether they have symptoms.
  • COVID-19 self-tests are one of many risk-reduction measures, along with vaccination, masking, and physical distancing, that protect you and others by reducing the chances of spreading COVID-19.

Wash 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.
  • It’s especially important to wash your hands:
  •  
    • Before eating or preparing food
    • Before touching your face
    • After using the restroom
    • After leaving a public place
    • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
    • After handling your mask
    • After changing a diaper
    • After caring for someone sick
    • After touching animals or pets
  • 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.
 

Cover coughs and sneezes

  • If you are wearing a mask: You can cough or sneeze into your mask. Put on a new, clean mask as soon as possible and wash your hands.
  • If you are not wearing a mask:
    • Always 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 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.

 

Last Updated Jan. 20, 2022 

content source: National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD)Division of Viral Diseases