Menu Close

The global spread of coronavirus means that many people will now need to take certain action steps to help reduce its transmission.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which some people refer to as coronavirus, causes coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19).

People can take the following everyday actions to help protect themselves and others from this illness:

Tips To prevent Corona Virus Disease

Hand-washing

Regular hand-washing is one of the main ways to help prevent the transmission of coronavirus.

People should use plenty of soap and water to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds, especially after:

  • traveling on public transport
  • being in a public place
  • coughing
  • sneezing
  • blowing their nose

If a person is not able to use soap and water, they can use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.

Washing the hands with soap or hand sanitizer helps kill any viruses on the hands that people may have come into contact with.

Learn more about the proper hand-washing technique in this article.

Avoiding touching the face

People should avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth with their hands, especially if they are unwashed. This can help limit the spread of germs and reduce the likelihood of them getting sick.

The hands come into contact with several surfaces throughout the day, and they may pick up viruses this way. A new report suggests that SARS-CoV-2 can remain on certain surfaces for up to 3 days.

If a person then touches their face, viruses can transfer to the eyes, nose, or mouth and enter the body.

Limiting contact with others

People should take care to avoid coming into close contact with others — especially those who are older, unwell, or have symptoms of the virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend staying 6 feet away from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

This is because when a person coughs or sneezes, small droplets containing the virus leave their mouth and nose. Other people can then breathe these droplets in and catch any virus that the droplets may contain.

If a person lives within a community where coronavirus is present, the relevant government will likely have additional instructions on how to implement social distancing. These may include:

  • staying home from work or working from home
  • avoiding contact with anyone who is not a member of the household
  • prohibiting large gatherings of people
  • closing nonessential services, including bars and restaurants

This is especially important for people at higher risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19, such as older adults and people with the following underlying health conditions:

  • heart disease
  • lung disease
  • diabetes

People at higher risk may also need to take extra precautions, such as self-isolating by staying at home.

The CDC recommend that people wear cloth face masks in public places where it is difficult to maintain physical distancing. This will help slow the spread of the virus from people who do not know that they have contracted it, including those who are asymptomatic. People should wear cloth face masks while continuing to practice physical distancing. Instructions for making masks at home are available hereNote: It is critical that surgical masks and N95 respirators are reserved for healthcare workers.

 
Staying home if unwell

If a person has mild symptoms of COVID-19, they can self-isolate by staying at home and avoiding contact with others.

Even if a person is unsure whether they have COVID-19, a common cold, or something else, it is best to stay inside and rest.

Calling ahead for medical attention

Anyone with a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing in an area with a COVID-19 outbreak should seek medical advice.

Calling ahead before visiting a healthcare facility allows healthcare providers to reduce the risk of the virus spreading to others.

For example, they may have the person use a designated entrance at the hospital, which helps keep them away from vulnerable patients.