Prevention

UPDATED March 27, 2020 at 12:00 p.m.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Information from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is available in EnglishChinese, and Spanish.

  • Stay at home
  • 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.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Immediately wash your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and 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.
    • A list of disinfectants for use against SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease) is available from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This list includes many commonly used products.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
    • If you are sick:  You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. 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.
    • If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.
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. View additional prevention steps from CDC for people at higher risk. Consult with your health care provider for more steps you may be able to take to protect yourself.

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