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COVID-19 in the Community

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COVID-19 Prevention: Protect yourself and others

How it spreads

COVID-19 spreads easily from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, breathes, sings or talks. Transmission is at highest risk when people are in close contact with one another (within 6 feet).

Remember: people who are infected but do not have symptoms can also spread the virus to others. The virus spreads less commonly through airborne transmission and contact with contaminated surfaces.

Prevent transmission

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in public places, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. 
    • Use hand sanitizer made of at least 60 percent alcohol, if soap and water aren't available.
    • Don't touch your face with unwashed hands.

  • Wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose when around others.
    • Even if you don't feel sick, you can spread it to others.
    • The mask is not a substitute for social distancing.

  • Avoid close contact by staying at least 6 feet away (or two arm's lengths) from non-household members.

  • Cover coughs and sneezes with tissues or inside of elbow, and immediately wash your hands.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily
    • Think doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks.

  • Monitor your health and be alert for common symptoms, like fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain and new loss of taste or smell.


Learn more about COVID-19 cases in our Data Dashboard