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What are some things I can do to lower my chances of getting COVID-19?

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You can lower your chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 if you take these steps:

  • Wash your hands well and often. Use hand sanitizer when you’re not near soap and water.
  • Try not to touch your face.
  • Follow your community guidelines for staying home.
  • When you do go out in public, leave at least 6 feet of space between you and others.
  • Wear a mask when you go out.
  • Don’t go out if you don’t feel well.
  • Cover your mouth with your elbow when you cough or sneeze, or use a tissue.
  • Clean and disinfect places and things you touch a lot.

Everyone is at risk of getting COVID-19, but you have a higher chance of getting seriously ill from it if you:

  • Are 65 or older, especially if you live in a nursing home or other care facility
  • Have asthma or lung disease, though more research is needed on this.
  • Have a weakened immune system from conditions such as cancer and HIV, or from medications
  • Are severely obese with a BMI over 40
  • Have type II diabetes
  • Have a serious heart condition
  • Have kidney, liver, or heart disease

If you fall into one of these categories, it’s especially important for you to follow these safety guidelines. Continue to manage any condition you have by taking your medications as directed.

SOURCES:

CDC: “Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Frequently Asked Questions,” “How to Protect Yourself & Others,” “People Who Are at Higher Risk for Severe Illness,” “When and How to Wash Your Hands,” “Show Me the Science -- Why Wash Your Hands?” “Household Checklist,” “Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19,” “How COVID-19 Spreads,” “Cleaning and Disinfection for Households,” “Information for Healthcare Professionals about Coronavirus (COVID-19).”

American Academy of Family Physicians: “Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Top 10 Tips From Your Family Doctor.”

Harvard Medical School: “If you are at higher risk,” “Preventing the spread of the coronavirus.”

Cleveland Clinic: “How to Actually Comply With the Don’t-Touch-Your-Face Advice From Health Experts.”

World Health Organization: “Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public,” “Q&A on coronaviruses (COVID-19).”

American Medical Association: “Helping private practices navigate non-essential care during COVID-19.”

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario on December 3, 2020

SOURCES:

CDC: “Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Frequently Asked Questions,” “How to Protect Yourself & Others,” “People Who Are at Higher Risk for Severe Illness,” “When and How to Wash Your Hands,” “Show Me the Science -- Why Wash Your Hands?” “Household Checklist,” “Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19,” “How COVID-19 Spreads,” “Cleaning and Disinfection for Households,” “Information for Healthcare Professionals about Coronavirus (COVID-19).”

American Academy of Family Physicians: “Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Top 10 Tips From Your Family Doctor.”

Harvard Medical School: “If you are at higher risk,” “Preventing the spread of the coronavirus.”

Cleveland Clinic: “How to Actually Comply With the Don’t-Touch-Your-Face Advice From Health Experts.”

World Health Organization: “Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public,” “Q&A on coronaviruses (COVID-19).”

American Medical Association: “Helping private practices navigate non-essential care during COVID-19.”

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario on December 3, 2020

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Why is it important for me to stay home during the COVID-19 outbreak?

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