COVID-19 - Protecting Yourself and Others

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid exposure to the virus, which can be difficult when there is community-based transmission. COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, between people who are in close contact with one another.

The following are some common prevention measures that can help protect against COVID-19:

• Wash your hands!
o Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
o If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
o Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

• Avoid close contact!
o Avoid close contact with people who are sick, even those inside your home.
o Put distance between yourself and people outside of your home.
o Stay at least 6 feet from others.
o Do not gather in groups.
o Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings.

• Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face covering when leaving your home!
o Everyone should wear a cloth face covering when they go out in public.
o The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people from your secretions in case you are infected.
o Do not use a mask meant for a healthcare worker.
o Continue to keep 6 feet between yourself and others, as a cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.

• Cover coughs and sneezes!
o If you are in a private setting and do not have on your cloth face covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or the inside of your elbow.
o Throw used tissues in the trash.
o Immediately wash your hands after coughing or sneezing.

• Clean and disinfect!
o Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily, including tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
o If surfaces are dirty, clean them first with detergent or mild soap and water, then follow with a household disinfectant.

To stay up to date on COVID-19 in North Carolina and to learn more, visit or text COVIDNC to 898211. Call 2-1-1 (or 888-892-1162) for general questions or for help finding human services resources in your community.