Practical Advice for Coronavirus (COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2)
1. Wash your hands frequently
Regularly and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water or if not available then use an alcohol-based hand rub.
Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
2. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses.
Why? Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
3. Maintain social distancing
Maintain at least 6 feet distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. Consider avoiding crowds, especially in poorly ventilated areas.
Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.
4. Practice Respiratory Hygiene
Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue whenever you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
5. If you have fever or cough, stay home
Stay home if you feel unwell. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some people may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Be sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water or a mixture of half apple juice and half water.
If you are unwell, stay away from others who are at high risk of serious illness from this virus such as older adults or people with chronic health conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing and need medical care, call your health care provider in advance if you need medical attention.
Why? Staying home while you are ill can slow the spread of viruses and protect people who are at risk of serious illness from COVID-19 or any other contagious illness. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections. National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area.
6. Additional Precautions include cleaning & disinfecting your home
Clean and disinfect your home to remove the virus from surfaces. Practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces such as tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks and cell phones. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants (such as Lysol or Clorox brand cleaners) should be effective. You can also use a dilute bleach solution or alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol.
Why? It is unclear how long the COVID-19 virus can live on surfaces so best to clean routinely to prevent spread of the virus.