COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) is an infectious disease that is currently widespread in Washington state. It can cause serious illness and even death. People who are very high risk of serious illness are those over 60 years old, and people with conditions like heart disease, diabetes, or asthma. However, young and healthy people can also become seriously ill or even die from COVID-19. It is important that everyone do the following things, both to prevent becoming sick and to keep from spreading COVID-19.
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
The virus spreads mainly from person-to-person.
Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.
Clean your hands often.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
If soap and water are not readily 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.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact with people outside your home.
Stay home as much as possible.
Put distance between yourself and other people.
Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread virus.
Keeping distance from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities.
Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
Do not use a facemask meant for a healthcare worker.
Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.
Cover coughs and sneezes.
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 when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
Throw used tissues in the trash.
Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Clean and disinfect your home.
Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
Use a household disinfectant, or you can use a bleach solution.
To make a bleach solution, mix 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water OR 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water
What should I do if I'm sick or someone in my household is sick?
Anyone ill should:
Use a separate bedroom and bathroom if possible. If that's not an option, try to stay at least 6 feet apart from each other when you're sleeping and interacting
Wear a facemask if you live with other people. You can also use a bandanna or t-shirt as a mask.
Wear a facemask and gloves when providing care, if available. Masks should be worn by the sick person and caregiver when in close contact. If no masks are available, use bandanas or other cloth to cover the mouth and nose.
Clean surfaces throughout the home daily with disinfectant. If you cannot find disinfecting cleaner, a paper towel dipped in 60% or greater isopropyl alcohol will kill the virus. Scrubbing with warm soap and water after disinfecting can be used as an additional precaution.
Wash laundry thoroughly. Wear disposable gloves if you have them, and keep the laundry away from your body. Wash your hands immediately after handling laundry, even if you wore gloves.
Everyone in the household should:
Cover coughs and sneezes.
Clean hands thoroughly and often. Wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Avoid sharing personal household items (dishes, towels, bedding, etc.)
Information adapted from:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html
Washington Department of Health https://www.coronavirus.wa.gov
World Health Organization https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
This information is not intended to be medical advice. Please talk to your doctor with any questions about your health.