Prevention and Control of COVID-19
COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. The virus can spread from person to person through respiratory droplets that are produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. These droplets can be inhaled by other people or land on their eyes, noses, or mouths. In some situations, the virus can also spread through smaller particles that can linger in the air for longer periods of time and travel farther distances. This is called airborne transmission and it can occur in poorly ventilated or crowded indoor settings. 1
To prevent COVID-19 and protect yourself and others from getting infected, it is important to follow some general prevention measures that can reduce the risk of exposure to respiratory droplets and airborne particles. These measures include:
- Vaccination: Vaccination is the most effective way to prevent COVID-19 and its complications. There are four vaccines that are authorized or approved for use in the United States: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson/Janssen, and Novavax. The COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel recommends COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible for everyone who is eligible according to the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (AI). 2
- Hand hygiene: Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds can help remove germs and dirt from your hands and prevent them from contaminating your mucous membranes or other surfaces. If soap and water are not available, you can use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. 3
- Avoiding close contact with sick people: You should avoid close contact with anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 or who has tested positive for the virus. Many people with COVID-19 may not have any symptoms but can still spread the virus to others. Therefore, you should also limit your contact with people outside your household and maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet (2 meters) from others when possible. 3
- Wearing a cloth face cover in public: A cloth face cover can help block some of the respiratory droplets and particles that may contain the virus from reaching your mouth and nose or spreading to others. You should wear a cloth face cover when you are in public settings where it is hard to keep a safe distance from others, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, or public transportation. Make sure your cloth face cover fits snugly over your nose and mouth and does not have any gaps or holes. You should also wash your cloth face cover regularly and replace it if it becomes damaged or wet. 3
- Covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing: When you cough or sneeze, you should cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow to prevent droplets from spraying into the air or onto other people or surfaces. You should dispose of used tissues properly in a lined trash can and wash your hands or use hand sanitizer afterwards. 3
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces: You should clean and disinfect surfaces that you touch often, such as tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks. You can use household cleaners and disinfectants that are appropriate for the surface and follow the instructions on the label. You should also wear gloves and wash your hands after cleaning and disinfecting. 3
These measures can help reduce the transmission of COVID-19 through droplets and airborne particles. However, they are not foolproof and they do not eliminate the risk of infection completely. Therefore, you should also monitor your health for any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 and seek medical attention if you feel sick or test positive for the virus.
One of the most effective ways to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19 is to practice good hand hygiene. This means washing 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. Soap and water can kill the virus that causes COVID-19 by breaking down its outer layer of fat and protein.
If soap and water are not readily available, you can use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Alcohol can also inactivate the virus by disrupting its structure and function. However, hand sanitizer is not as effective as soap and water in removing dirt and other substances from your hands. Therefore, you should always wash your hands with soap and water whenever possible.
To use hand sanitizer correctly, you should apply the product to the palm of one hand and rub your hands together, covering all surfaces of your hands and fingers, until they are dry. Do not wipe or rinse off the hand sanitizer before it is dry.
You should avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands, as these are the main entry points for the virus to infect your body. You should also avoid sharing personal items such as towels, cups, utensils, or phones with others, as these may be contaminated with the virus.
By keeping your hands clean and avoiding contact with potentially infected surfaces or people, you can reduce your risk of getting COVID-19 and protect others from getting it from you. Hand hygiene is a simple but powerful tool to fight against this pandemic.
One of the most effective ways to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19 is to avoid close contact with people who are sick or have symptoms of the disease. Close contact means being within 6 feet (2 meters) of someone for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. This is because COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through respiratory droplets that are expelled when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of nearby people or be inhaled into the lungs.
Some people who have COVID-19 may not show any symptoms or may have mild ones that can be easily mistaken for a common cold or flu. These people are called asymptomatic or presymptomatic carriers and they can still infect others without knowing it. Therefore, it is important to avoid close contact with anyone who is not from your household, even if they appear healthy.
If you have to be around someone who is sick or has symptoms of COVID-19, you should take the following precautions:
- Wear a cloth face cover that covers your nose and mouth and fits snugly against the sides of your face.
- Keep a distance of at least 6 feet (2 meters) from the person as much as possible.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces in your environment, such as doorknobs, countertops, keyboards, phones, etc.
- Monitor your health and watch for any signs of COVID-19, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell, etc. If you develop any symptoms, stay home and contact your health care provider.
By avoiding close contact with sick people, you can reduce your risk of getting infected with COVID-19 and help protect others from getting sick. Remember to follow the other preventive measures as well, such as hand hygiene, social distancing, wearing a cloth face cover in public, covering your coughs and sneezes, and disposing of used tissues properly. Together, we can slow down the spread of COVID-19 and save lives.
Social distancing is a strategy to reduce the contact and interaction between people who may be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and those who are not, in order to slow down the spread of the disease. Social distancing can protect high-risk individuals, such as older adults and people with underlying medical conditions, who are more likely to develop severe illness, require hospitalization, or die from COVID-19 .
Some examples of social distancing measures include:
- Staying at least 6 feet (2 meters) away from others who are not from your household in both indoor and outdoor settings.
- Avoiding crowded places and large gatherings where it is difficult to maintain physical distance.
- Working from home, if possible, or limiting your exposure at work by following safety protocols such as wearing a mask, washing your hands, and cleaning your work area.
- Using online or delivery services for shopping, banking, entertainment, and other activities that do not require physical contact.
- Postponing or canceling travel plans that involve flying, cruising, or using public transportation.
- Staying in touch with family and friends through phone calls, video chats, social media, or other virtual means.
Social distancing can help reduce the burden on the health care system by preventing a surge of cases that could overwhelm hospitals and intensive care units (ICUs). It can also help preserve the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other medical resources for health care workers who are at the frontlines of the pandemic.
Social distancing does not mean social isolation. It is important to maintain your mental and emotional well-being by staying connected with your loved ones and seeking support if you feel stressed, anxious, or depressed. You can also practice healthy habits such as getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising regularly, and engaging in hobbies that bring you joy.
Social distancing is one of the most effective ways to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 and protect yourself and others from getting sick. By following this simple measure, you can make a difference in slowing down the outbreak and saving lives.
One of the most effective ways to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 is to wear a cloth face cover when around others. A cloth face cover can help block respiratory droplets that may contain the virus from reaching other people or contaminating surfaces. According to the CDC, wearing a cloth face cover can reduce the risk of infection by more than 70%.
A cloth face cover should fit snugly over the nose and mouth, but not be so tight that it restricts breathing. It should also be made of multiple layers of breathable fabric that can filter out particles, such as cotton or linen. The cloth face cover should be washed regularly with soap and water or in a washing machine.
Some people may prefer to wear a disposable medical mask or a respirator, such as an N95 or KN95, instead of or in addition to a cloth face cover. These types of masks can offer more protection against COVID-19, but they also have some limitations and challenges. For example, they may be less comfortable, more expensive, harder to find, or require special fitting and disposal. The CDC recommends that medical masks and respirators be reserved for health care workers and other high-risk groups.
If you choose to wear a medical mask or a respirator, you should still follow the same guidelines as for a cloth face cover: make sure it covers your nose and mouth, avoid touching it, and replace it when it becomes wet or damaged. You can also wear a cloth face cover over your medical mask or respirator to improve the fit and add an extra layer of protection.
Whether you wear a cloth face cover, a medical mask, or a respirator, you should always practice other preventive measures as well, such as washing your hands, avoiding close contact with sick people, and staying home if you are sick. Wearing a mask is not only a personal choice, but also a social responsibility to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
One of the ways that COVID-19 can spread is through respiratory droplets that are produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Therefore, it is important to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze to prevent the transmission of these droplets.
According to the CDC, you should follow these steps to cover your coughs and sneezes:
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Throw used tissues in the trash.
- If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands.
- Remember to immediately wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Washing your hands is one of the most effective ways to prevent yourself and your loved ones from getting sick, especially at key times when you are likely to get and spread germs.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol to clean hands.
You can also consider wearing a high-quality, well-fitting face mask which may help reduce the spread of respiratory germs. However, a face mask is not a substitute for covering your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your elbow.
If you are sick with COVID-19 or suspect you are infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, you should stay home and isolate yourself from others as much as possible. You should also wear a face mask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office.
By covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, you can help protect yourself and others from COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases. This is a simple but effective way to prevent the spread of germs and save lives.
One of the ways that COVID-19 can spread is through respiratory droplets that are produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land on the surfaces or objects around them, or be inhaled by people who are nearby. Therefore, it is important to dispose of used tissues properly to prevent the transmission of the virus.
According to the CDC, here are some steps to follow when disposing of used tissues:
- Throw used tissues in a lined trash can.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth after handling used tissues.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol after disposing of used tissues.
- If possible, use a tissue to turn off the faucet after washing your hands to avoid recontamination.
- Empty the trash can regularly and wash your hands again after handling the trash bag.
By following these simple steps, you can help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 through contaminated tissues. Remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow when you cough or sneeze, and dispose of the tissue properly. This is one of the effective ways to protect yourself and others from this disease.
One of the ways that the COVID-19 virus can spread is through contact with surfaces or objects that have the virus on them. The virus may stay on surfaces from hours to days, depending on the type of material and environmental conditions. Therefore, it is important to regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces in your home and workplace. These may include tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, counters, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
Cleaning with soap and water removes dirt and lowers the number of germs on surfaces. Disinfecting can help kill any remaining germs and reduce the risk of infection. You should clean surfaces before disinfecting them, as dirt and organic matter can reduce the effectiveness of disinfectants.
To clean and disinfect surfaces properly, you should follow these steps:
- Wear disposable gloves and a mask when cleaning and disinfecting. Avoid touching your face or eyes with gloves or hands that may be contaminated.
- Use a product that is suitable for each surface. Read the label and follow the instructions carefully. Some products may need to be diluted with water or left on the surface for a certain amount of time to work.
- If possible, use disposable wipes or paper towels to clean surfaces. If you use reusable cloths, wash them after each use with hot water and detergent.
- Dispose of used gloves, masks, wipes, and paper towels in a lined garbage bin. Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer after removing gloves and mask.
- If someone who is sick with COVID-19 lives with you or has been in your home within the last 24 hours, you should disinfect frequently touched surfaces promptly after cleaning them with soap and water. You may also need to clean and disinfect other areas where the person has been, such as their bedroom or bathroom.
- If you are using bleach as a disinfectant, make sure it is not expired and dilute it with water according to the label instructions. Never mix bleach with ammonia or other cleaners as this can produce toxic fumes.
- If you are using alcohol as a disinfectant, make sure it is at least 70% concentration. Alcohol may not be effective against some types of viruses.
- Ventilate the area well when using any cleaning or disinfecting products.
By following these steps, you can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 through contaminated surfaces and protect yourself and others from infection.
Hospitals are places where COVID-19 patients are likely to be admitted and treated. Therefore, it is important to take additional precautions to prevent and control the transmission of the virus in these settings. Some of the measures that hospitals can adopt are:
- Ensuring adequate ventilation in patient rooms and other areas where COVID-19 patients are cared for. Ventilation can reduce the concentration of airborne droplets that may contain the virus. Hospitals should follow the CDC guidelines on ventilation for healthcare facilities.
- Placing patients in single rooms or cohorting them with other COVID-19 patients. This can reduce the risk of exposure for other patients and healthcare workers. If single rooms are not available, patients should be placed at least 1 meter apart and separated by curtains or partitions.
- Using personal protective equipment (PPE) when caring for COVID-19 patients. PPE includes medical masks, eye protection, gloves, and gowns. Healthcare workers should follow the CDC recommendations on how to use PPE correctly and safely. They should also perform hand hygiene before and after patient contact and dispose of used PPE properly.
These precautions can help protect healthcare workers and patients from COVID-19 infection and reduce the spread of the virus in hospitals.
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is essential for health care workers who are in close contact with patients suspected or confirmed of having COVID-19. However, PPE can also become a source of contamination if not used and disposed of properly. Therefore, it is important to follow these steps after patient care:
- Remove PPE in a designated area, away from other people and surfaces. Follow the correct sequence of doffing to avoid self-contamination. The recommended sequence is: gloves, gown, eye protection, and mask. Do not touch the front of the mask or the eye protection. Dispose of the PPE in a closed bin or a biohazard bag.
- Perform hand hygiene immediately after removing PPE. Use soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub to clean your hands thoroughly. Do not touch your face or any other surfaces before washing your hands.
- If you need to reuse some PPE items, such as goggles or face shields, clean and disinfect them according to the manufacturer`s instructions or local protocols. Store them in a clean and dry place until the next use.
- If you need to wear PPE again for another patient, put on a new set of PPE following the correct sequence of donning. The recommended sequence is: gown, mask, eye protection, and gloves. Make sure the PPE fits well and covers your mouth, nose, eyes, and body.
- Monitor yourself for any signs or symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, or loss of taste or smell. If you develop any of these symptoms, isolate yourself and seek medical attention as soon as possible.
By following these steps, you can protect yourself and others from the transmission of COVID-19 through PPE. Remember to always follow the standard precautions and other infection prevention and control measures when caring for patients with COVID-19 or any other infectious disease.
Another important measure to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 is to ensure that any equipment that is shared between patients is properly cleaned and disinfected before and after each use. This includes items such as stethoscopes, blood pressure cuffs, thermometers, and other devices that may come into contact with bodily fluids or mucous membranes.
According to the CDC, the following steps should be followed for cleaning and disinfecting shared equipment between patients:
- Follow the manufacturer`s instructions for cleaning and disinfection of the equipment. If the instructions are not available or feasible, use a detergent or soap and water to remove visible soil, followed by an EPA-registered disinfectant that is compatible with the equipment and has a claim against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
- Use disposable or dedicated equipment whenever possible. If equipment needs to be shared among patients, assign it to a cohort of patients with the same infection status or diagnosis.
- Wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when handling contaminated equipment. Remove and dispose of PPE properly after cleaning and disinfecting the equipment.
- Perform hand hygiene before and after handling the equipment, as well as before and after wearing PPE.
By following these steps, you can reduce the risk of cross-contamination and infection among patients and healthcare workers. Cleaning and disinfecting shared equipment between patients is an essential part of infection prevention and control in healthcare settings.
One of the most important aspects of preventing and controlling COVID-19 is to raise awareness among the people who are affected by it or at risk of contracting it. This includes patients, their families, and the general public. Awareness can help people to recognize the symptoms of COVID-19, seek timely medical attention, follow the necessary precautions to protect themselves and others, and avoid misinformation and stigma.
Some of the ways to generate awareness are:
- Providing clear and accurate information about COVID-19 through various channels such as social media, websites, posters, flyers, radio, television, etc. The information should include the mode of transmission, signs and symptoms, prevention measures, treatment options, and where to seek help.
- Using simple and understandable language that is appropriate for the target audience. Avoiding technical jargon and using visual aids or illustrations when possible.
- Addressing common myths and misconceptions about COVID-19 and correcting them with evidence-based facts. For example, debunking the false claims that COVID-19 can be cured by certain foods or drugs, or that it only affects certain groups of people.
- Encouraging people to follow the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the local health authorities regarding COVID-19. For example, urging people to wear a cloth face cover in public settings where social distancing is difficult to maintain, or to stay at home if they have mild symptoms or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.
- Promoting positive behaviors and attitudes towards COVID-19 patients and their families. For example, showing empathy and support for those who are sick or isolated, or expressing gratitude and appreciation for the health care workers who are on the frontlines of the pandemic.
- Involving community leaders, influencers, celebrities, or role models who can spread the message of awareness and prevention to their followers or fans. For example, inviting a popular singer or actor to record a video message or a song about COVID-19.
- Engaging with different groups of people such as children, youth, women, elderly, minorities, migrants, refugees, etc. who may have specific needs or concerns regarding COVID-19. For example, providing educational materials or activities for children to learn about COVID-19 in a fun and interactive way.
By generating awareness among patients, families, and the general public, we can help to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and its impact on our health and society. Awareness is the first step towards action. Let us all do our part to fight this pandemic together.
One of the most effective ways to prevent COVID-19 and its complications is to get vaccinated and boosted with one of the authorized or approved vaccines. COVID-19 vaccines help your body develop protection from the virus that causes COVID-19 and reduce the risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death. CDC recommends that everyone stay up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines, especially people with weakened immune systems .
To find COVID-19 vaccine locations near you, you can search http://vaccines.gov/, text your ZIP code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233. You can also check with your local health department or pharmacy for availability and eligibility.
Some people may experience mild side effects after getting vaccinated, such as pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site, headache, fatigue, muscle pain, chills, fever, or nausea. These are normal signs that your body is building protection and should go away within a few days. Serious side effects are rare but possible. You should contact your health care provider or seek medical attention if you have any of the following symptoms after vaccination:
- Trouble breathing
- Swelling of your face and throat
- A fast heartbeat
- A bad rash all over your body
- Dizziness or weakness
Getting vaccinated does not mean that you can stop taking other preventive measures, such as wearing a mask, avoiding crowds, washing your hands, and cleaning surfaces. You should continue to follow the guidance of your local health authorities and CDC to protect yourself and others from COVID-19 .
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