How to protect yourself and other from COVID-19

Video courtesy of The SEAD Project /

How it spreads

  • The virus spreads from person to person mainly through respiratory droplets an infected person makes when they cough, sneeze or talk.
    • Droplets can land in mouths or noses of people who are nearby – within about six feet.
    • COVID-19 may spread from people who do not show symptoms.
  •  The virus may also spread by touching surfaces or objects that have the virus on them.
  • It does not spread easily between animals and people.

Everyone should take these prevention steps

  • Wash hands often for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water. If you cannot use soap and warm water, use hand sanitizer (60-95% alcohol content).
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with elbow or tissue. If you use a tissue, throw the tissue away and wash your hands right away.
  • Do not touch your face.
  • Stay at least six feet away from people who you do not live with.
  • Wear a cloth, paper or disposable face covering when you go out. A face covering may help stop the spread of the virus as more people are out and about.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that you often touch:
    • Tables, doorknobs, light switches, desks, keyboards, phones, sinks, toilets, countertops, faucets, handles

Other important steps

  • Stay close to home.
  • Avoid overnight trips.
  • Minimize non-essential travel, including recreational day trips to places outside the community where you live. Travel the shortest distance that you need to for essential services. Plan to run essential errands during hours when fewer people will be there.
  • If you are sick, stay home, call your health care provider and follow their guidance.
  • If you are at risk for severe complications (older than age 65 or have medical conditions) you should stay home, even if you feel well.
  • If you are in public and start to have symptoms below contact your health care provider. Otherwise, go home and self-isolate.
    • Fever, headache, chills, new loss of taste or smell, cough, sore throat, fatigue, nausea or vomiting, muscle or body aches, diarrhea, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, congestion or runny nose

Information courtesy of Oregon Health Authority

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