Important update: Healthcare facilities
CDC has updated select ways to operate healthcare systems effectively in response to COVID-19 vaccination. Learn more
To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, get vaccinated as soon as you can and wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.
UPDATE
Given new evidence on the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant, CDC has updated the guidance for fully vaccinated people. CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. Children should return to full-time in-person learning in the fall with layered prevention strategies in place.
UPDATE
The White House announced that vaccines will be required for international travelers coming into the United States, with an effective date of November 8, 2021. For purposes of entry into the United States, vaccines accepted will include FDA approved or authorized and WHO Emergency Use Listing vaccines. More information is available here.

Handwashing

Handwashing
Updated Jan. 8, 2021

Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use the cleanest water possible, for example from an improved source.* Use an alcohol-based hand rub that contains 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

Illustration of hands underneath water faucet

1. Wet hands with water.

Illustration of hands using bar and liquid soap

2. Apply enough soap to cover all hand surfaces.

Illustration of hands moving in a circular motion with bubbles

3. Rub hands together and scrub everywhere.

Illustration of hands with bubbles

4. Wash the front and back of your hands, in between your fingers, and under your nails.

Illustration of hands underneath water faucet

5. Rinse hands with water.

Illustration of hands drying with cloth

6. Dry hands completely using a single-use towel or air dry.

WHEN TO WASH HANDS TO PREVENT COVID-19:

  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After being in a public place
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick

Remember to wash your hands after each of these activities to stay healthy:

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
  • After using the toilet or latrine
  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
  • After touching garbage