How to Protect Yourself & Others

How to Protect Yourself & Others

Important Ways to Slow the Spread

They keep protecting themselves when they are outside of their house. Neighborhood caricature showing COVID safety practices

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Wear a mask

  • Everyone 2 years and older should wear masks in public.
  • Masks should be worn in addition to staying at least 6 feet apart, especially around people who don’t live with you.
  • Wear your mask over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin.
  • Fit the mask snugly against the sides of your face, slipping the loops over your ears or tying the strings behind your head.
  • If you have to continually adjust your mask, it doesn’t fit properly, and you might need to find a different mask type or brand.
  • Make sure you can breathe easily.

Effective February 2, 2021, masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.​

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Stay 6 feet away from others

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Get Vaccinated

  • Authorized COVID-19 vaccines can help protect you from COVID-19.
  • You should get a COVID-19 vaccine when it is available to you.
  • Once you are fully vaccinated, you may be able to start doing some things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic.
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Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces

  • Being in crowds like in restaurants, bars, fitness centers, or movie theaters puts you at higher risk for COVID-19.
  • Avoid indoor spaces that do not offer fresh air from the outdoors as much as possible.
  • If indoors, bring in fresh air by opening windows and doors, if possible.
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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:
    • 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.
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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.
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Clean and disinfect

  • Clean high touch surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • If someone is sick or has tested positive for COVID-19, disinfect frequently touched surfaces. Use a household disinfectant product from EPA’s List N: Disinfectants for Coronavirus (COVID-19)external icon according to manufacturer’s labeled directions.
    • If surfaces are dirty, clean them using detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
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Monitor your health daily

  • Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Take your temperature if symptoms develop.
    • Don’t take your temperature within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications that could lower your temperature, like acetaminophen.
  • Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.
Video Resources
Image of the COVID-19 Stop the Spread of Germs video
Image of the Help Protect Yourself and Others video
Image of the how to wear a mask video