The American Red Cross continues to closely monitor the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and follow the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
We understand this is a stressful time and people want to know what they can do now to protect themselves and their families. Below are some everyday steps that people in the U.S. can take now. In addition, stay informed about what’s happening in your community and always follow the directions of state and local authorities.
WEAR A CLOTH FACE COVER
The CDC now advises everyone to wear a cloth face cover when going out in public, such as going to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities.
- The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected. You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
- Do NOT use a facemask meant for a health care worker.
- In addition, do NOT place cloth face coverings on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
- Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.
- For more information, see CDC guidelines, including how to create your own cloth face cover.
HELP SLOW THE SPREAD OF COVID-19
Follow these steps to help keep you and others safe:
Stay home if you can and avoid any non-essential travel. Avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people.
Practice social distancing by keeping at least 6 feet — about two arm lengths — away from others if you must go out in public. Stay connected with loved ones through video and phone calls, texts and social media. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
Clean and disinfect household surfaces daily and high-touch surfaces frequently throughout the day. High-touch surfaces include phones, remote controls, counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, keyboards, tablets and bedside tables. Follow CDC guidance.
Cover your coughs and sneezes. Use a tissue to cover your nose and mouth, and throw used tissues in a lined trash can. If a tissue isn’t available, cough or sneeze into your elbow — not your hands. Wash your hands immediately.