There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. COVID-19 can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, including when an individual coughs or sneezes. These droplets may land on objects and surfaces. Other people may contract COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth.
Symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough and shortness of breath. Symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days following exposure. Most people recover from COVID-19 without needing special treatment. The elderly and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems and diabetes are more likely to develop serious illness.
Following are everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of COVID-19:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
- Stay home when you are sick and avoiding contact with persons in poor health;
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then dispose of the tissue;
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, 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. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty; and
- Clean and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
Please review the following recommendations and take steps to complete them:
- Periodically check your regular prescription drugs to ensure a continuous supply in your home.
- Have any nonprescription drugs and other health supplies on hand, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes, and vitamins.
- Get copies and maintain electronic versions of health records from doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and other sources and store them, for personal reference. Get help accessing electronic health records.
- Talk with family members and loved ones about how they would be cared for if they got sick and/or who will care for small children if they cannot attend school for an extended period.