Can I prevent getting COVID-19?
Since there is no vaccine currently available to prevent COVID-19, the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus.
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. Knowing how it spreads is one way to limit your exposure to the virus.
The virus is thought to spread between people who are in close contact with one another, within about six feet, or through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Anyone can get COVID-19, but there are certain populations of people more likely to get very sick from the virus including:
- Older adults
- People who have serious chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes or lung disease
- People with compromised or weakened immune systems
- Cancer patients
If you are at high risk, you should consider staying home as much as possible. Everyone should practice social distancing, as encouraged by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and government officials.
Social distancing means:
- Stay home as much as possible
- Avoid crowds
- Refrain from touching one another
There are simple, every day preventative steps you can take to help prevent the spread of any respiratory virus including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- If you are sick, stay home
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
- Wear a mask when out in public
- Clean frequently-touched surfaces regularly, such as door knobs, light switches, toys and other items
- Always cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or the sleeve of your arm
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands