Prevention and Risk Reduction
UPDATED Dec 15
Prevention information from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean, and Chinese. CDC information on reducing risk if leaving your home is available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean, and Chinese. Find printable materials on our multilingual materials page.
Each of the following prevention methods can help you avoid being exposed to the virus:
- Reduce your risk. While you can’t eliminate risk when leaving your home, there are ways to stay safer if you do. You can use these scales to consider some of the many factors that could contribute to the risk of an activity. The more low-risk choices you make, the more protection you have from getting or spreading COVID-19. If you’re seeing people, talk to them about how you can stay on the greener side of these categories. Don't forget to follow all active local and state health orders. View this as a PDF in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Arabic, French, Japanese, and in English with larger font & higher contrast
- Layer up prevention methods! Each of these actions reduces the risk of spreading and getting COVID-19, but none of them are 100% effective on their own. By layering up these actions, we fill in potential holes which lowers risk and keeps us safer! This is called the "Swiss cheese" model of prevention.
- Practice social distancing when out. Social distancing means keeping at least six feet between people as much as possible.
- Avoid crowds and gatherings with people from multiple households
- Wear a mask/face covering
- Wear a face covering over your nose and mouth when out in public, especially if you’re in an enclosed space or you’re likely to come within 6 feet from others.
- A face mask is a tightly woven cloth or other multi-layer absorbent material that closely covers an individual’s mouth and nose. For the best protection:
- Make sure your mask fits snugly against your face. Gaps can let air with respiratory droplets leak in and out around the edges of the mask
- Pick a mask with layers to keep your respiratory droplets in and others’ out. A mask with layers will stop more respiratory droplets getting inside your mask or escaping from your mask if you are sick.
- Under the MDHHS Epidemic Orders, any individual able to medically tolerate a face covering must wear a covering over their nose and mouth when in any enclosed public space or crowded outdoor space.
- Learn more about how to mask up, mask right.
- See more guidance on face coverings from the state health department.
- Learn how to make and wear your own cloth face covering.
- 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, and before eating or preparing food.
- 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.
- Do not touch your face or mouth, especially when out.
- Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care. Stay away from others in your home. Call ahead before going to your healthcare provider. Learn what to do if you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into the inside of your elbow. 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.
- ONLY use cleaning and disinfecting products according to their instructions.
- Cleaning and disinfecting products are not meant to be ingested or used on food! Find more information at FDA, ️CDC, ️and Lysol.
- Use and store cleaning products safely. Call the Michigan Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 for assistance if you suspect an accidental poisoning.
- Information from the FDA on food safety during coronavirus.
- Businesses and organizations must take steps, including screening and social distancing, to protect workers.
- Continue to stay home and work from home when you can