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How to Protect Yourself and Prepare for the Coronavirus


With a clear head and some simple tips, you can help reduce your risk, prepare yourself and do your part to protect others.

Stay home

When cleaning your home, prioritize high-touch surfaces, including door knobs, light switches, refrigerator and microwave doors, drawer pulls, TV remotes, counters and table tops, toilet handles and faucet handles, and also phones and tablets. To disinfect any surface, it’s recommended wearing disposable gloves and washing hands thoroughly immediately after removing the gloves. Most household disinfectants will do the work.

When going outside, be extra cautious

Do not get close to other people. This is called “social distancing” and is basically a call to stand far away from other people, even if you have no underlying health conditions or coronavirus symptoms. Experts believe the coronavirus travels through droplets, so limiting your exposure to other people is a good way to protect yourself. Avoid public transportation when possible, limit nonessential travel, work from home and skip social gatherings. You can go outside, as long as you avoid being in close contact with people.

Consider wearing a mask in public

Experts advise to wear cloth masks in public. This recommendation reflects concerns that the coronavirus is being spread by infected people who have no symptoms. But remember that mask wearing doesn’t replace hand washing and social distancing.

Wash your hands with soap as often as you can

Wet your hands and scrub them with soap, taking care to get between your fingers and under your nails. Wash for at least 20 seconds (or about the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice), and dry. Make sure you get your thumbs, too. It is also recommended you avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers, which should be rubbed in for about 20 seconds, can also work, but the gel must contain at least 60 percent alcohol.