There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19, but preventative measures may help reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has the following advice:
- Stay home as much as you can
- Keep a safe distance
- Wash hands often
- Cover your cough
- Sick? Call ahead
Here are current Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations to prevent the spread of respiratory diseases:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Stay home.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a face mask.
- CDC recommends that people wear cloth face coverings in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
- Cloth face coverings may help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others.
- Cloth face coverings are most likely to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when they are widely used by people in public settings.Cloth face coverings should NOT be worn by children under the age of 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
- Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of face masks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
Prevention Following Travel
Consistent with CDC guidance, all those arriving from China, Iran, Italy, South Korea or any other country with a CDC Level 3 travel health restriction are expected to stay at home and not return to campus until they complete a 14-day self-isolation immediately upon arrival in the U.S. This includes all individuals, with or without symptoms.
Guidance from the CDC lists the following as best practices for self-isolation and social distancing:
Stay at home except to receive medical care.
Call ahead before visiting your doctor.
Separate yourself from other people in your home.
Cover your coughs and sneezes.
Clean your hands often.
Avoid sharing personal household items.
Clean all high touch surfaces every day.
Monitor any symptoms.
For more information about how to protect yourself from COVID-19, review this fact sheet based on information from the CDC.