COVID-19 and How it Spreads
This is the basic information you need to keep in mind to stay healthy and take care of your loved ones.
Viruses can spread in many ways. Determining how easily they spread can be challenging, especially when it comes to new viruses like COVID-19.
Some viruses are highly contagious, which means they spread easily, and they can also be sustained, meaning they spread quickly without stopping. We know the virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading very easily and sustainably between people. It is essential that everyone understands how this virus is spread and knows the proper steps to decrease the spread.
COVID-19 spreads mainly from person-to-person, or between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet), through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
It is also possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly eyes.
Most of the time, people who have the virus show symptoms and know they are sick. If someone is sick, they should stay at home to prevent the virus from spreading to others. However, there are times when people who have the virus do not show symptoms. These people can still spread the virus to others in their community without knowing it.
There are several steps you can take to protect yourself from spreading or getting COVID-19. Make sure you wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Cover any coughs or sneezes with your elbow, not your hands, and clean surfaces frequently.
If you need to go out to an essential business or get essential items like food or medicine, you must wear a cloth or face mask that covers your mouth and nose. Most importantly, if you are sick, stay home until you are feeling better. Practicing these everyday prevention measures can help slow the spread of this virus, protecting you, your family, and those in your community.