The CDC has now confirmed wearing face coverings can mitigate the spread of COVID-19. It is recommended that you utilize this practice in public spaces, work, and other settings where social distancing is challenging. There are many ways to create face coverings from materials in your home. The surgeon general, VADM Jerome M. Adams, M.D., M.P.H, shows you how to here:
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
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread the virus.
- Stay home as much as possible.
- Put distance between yourself and other people. 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Do NOT use a face mask meant for a healthcare worker.
- Continue to keep about six 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
- 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.
- To disinfect, most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work. Use disinfectants appropriate for the surface. Options include:
- Diluting your household bleach.
- To make a bleach solution, mix 5 tablespoons (1/3 cup) bleach per gallon of water OR 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.
- Ensure the solution has at least 70% alcohol.
- Products with EPA approved emerging viral pathogens claims are expected to be effective against COVID-19 based on data for harder to kill viruses. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method, and contact time, etc).
For additional information, go to CDC.gov.