12 Ways to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

To prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection among high-risk groups, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers these suggestions.

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Twenty seconds is about the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday to You” twice. Feel free to hum or sing the song aloud if it helps. The CDC says you should wash your hands especially after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, going out in public or to any common area where other people frequent, and after touching surfaces in public places.
  2. Carry hand sanitizer. You’ll want to have this on hand in case soap and water are unavailable. Hand sanitizer should contain at least 60% alcohol.
  3. Avoid touching your face, nose and eyes, or shaking hands with others.
  4. Avoid direct contact with high-touch surfaces in public places, including door handles, elevator buttons and handrails. If you must touch these surfaces, use a tissue, paper towel or even your sleeve to avoid direct contact with your hands.
  5. Learn new ways of socializing. In-person social interactions are associated with higher risk of infection, so replace the in-person meetings with phone calls and video chats. Limit in-person interactions to those essential to your health, well-being and safety.
  6. Stay connected. The CDC recommends partnering with a buddy. Choose someone who is not at high risk of complications from COVID-19 in case the person becomes infected. Seek someone who will check on you regularly and help if necessary; preferably not in person.
  7. Stay at home or at least 6 feet away from people when you go outdoors.
  8. Maintain an adequate supply of food and other essentials at home.
  9. Keep your home clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces often by following these instructions.
  10. Manage your stress and anxiety in healthy ways. The CDC offers these strategies to cope with stress.
  11. Continue to access your routine health care and medical services. Work with your primary care provider to identify the services you need so that you can continue to receive your regular care without interruption. Ask about and take advantage of telemedicine services if available. Also ask your doctor if any elective procedures or nonemergency services can be delayed without negatively impacting your health.
  12. Have medication and supplies on hand. You may want to consult with your health care providers and, if possible, plan to keep an extra supply of regular prescriptions. Consider mail-order medications and pharmacy delivery services as an alternative if you are unable to obtain longer supplies of medication.


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