How can I protect myself from getting COVID-19?

It is important that everyone take steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19, especially to protect those who are vulnerable. Steps you take to prevent spread of flu and the common cold will also help prevent coronavirus. 

These steps are:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating and after eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Be sure to dry your hands completely.
  • 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.
  • Keep unwashed hands away from your face, nose, and eyes. 
  • Stay away from people who are ill.
  • Stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others.
  • When you sneeze or cough, cover your cough or sneeze with your sleeve or a tissue; then, throw away the tissue.
  • Follow advice from your health care provider.
  • Clean commonly touched surfaces regularly. Follow the CDC’s guidance on cleaning surfaces:
  • Stay informed on the latest updates through trusted sources only.

The CDC continues to stress concerns with international travel. Currently CDC recommends avoiding non-essential travel to China, Iran, South Korea, and Italy. Travel to Japan is a concern for older adults or those with chronic medical conditions. See for the latest travel guidance from the CDC.

Show All Answers

1. What is COVID-19?
2. How does COVID-19 spread?
3. How severe is COVID-19?
4. Who is at risk for COVID-19?
5. How can I protect myself from getting COVID-19?
6. What are the symptoms?
7. What do I do if I have symptoms?