How Does COVID-19 Spread?

  • According to the CDC, the virus is thought to be spread mainly from person-to-person. This means it may spread between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet), or through respiratory droplets 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. Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms. 
  • The CDC also reports that it may be possible for someone to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object with the virus on it, and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
  • The best way to prevent illness from COVID-19 is to avoid being exposed to the virus, as there is no vaccine to prevent COVID-19.

Use Healthy Practices to Protect Yourself

The best way to stay healthy is to follow these steps from the CDC: 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Wear a cloth face covering to cover your mouth and nose when around others as physical distancing is not always possible. People may spread the infection even prior to having symptoms and you could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick. Don’t place coverings on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance. Learn more.
  • Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and throw the tissue away after use. If a tissue isn’t available, cough or sneeze into your elbow or sleeve, not your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, computers, phones, keyboards, sinks, toilets, faucets and countertops.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them.  Use detergent, or soap and water, prior to disinfecting. Find full information on how to disinfect here.
  • Wear a facemask if you are sick. You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office.

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