How to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

Following simple steps can prevent the spread of COVID-19 and reduce its impact on our communities.

Stay home if you start to feel ill

Unless you are going out to seek medical attention, stay at home if you are feeling sick especially if you have symptoms of fever or cough. Learn more about If You Become Sick.

Watch these videos to learn more about staying home when you are sick and the importance of isolation and quarantine

Wear a mask when in public

  • Wear a mask with two or more layers to help stop the spread of COVID-19
  • Wear the mask over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin
  • Masks should be worn by people two years and older

Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mask wearing guide to learn more.

Keep your distance

Avoid close contact with people (physical distancing)

  • Try to keep your distance from other people (at least 6 feet or 2 arms lengths)
  • This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick and experiencing severe disease.

Watch this video to learn more about physical distancing.

Washing hands

Wash your hands often

Use soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. If your hands are visibly dirty, then make sure to use soap and running water since sanitizing products will not remove the dirt.

Visit our handwashing page to learn more and find some useful resources.

Watch this video to learn more about how washing your hands can prevent disease.

Disinfectant spray

Clean and disinfect

Clean frequently touched objects and surfaces using a household cleaning spray or wipe.

Everyone can pitch in by practicing routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks) with household cleaners. Use EPA-registered disinfectants that are appropriate for the surface and follow the label instructions.

Hand touch face

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.


Cover your coughs and sneezes

Use a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you don’t have a tissue, use your elbow.

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • 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.

Get Vaccinated

Get the Flu Shot: People with seasonal influenza will exhibit similar signs and symptoms as COVID-19 (fever and cough). If more people are protected against influenza, this will reduce confusion and the burden on our healthcare system.

As more COVID-19 vaccines become available, if you are part of an eligible priority group, get vaccinated! COVID-19 can have serious, life-threatening complications and there is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you. And, if you get sick, you could spread the disease to friends, family, and others around you. The COVID-19 vaccine will help protect you from getting sick with COVID-19 and may also keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19. Getting vaccinated may also protect the people around you, especially those at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Vaccines work with your immune system so that your body will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed.