What You Can Do
Protect Yourself and Others From COVID-19
Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease, diabetes or lung cancer seem to be at higher risk for developing serious complications from COVID-19 illness.
Keep a safe distance. Social or physical distancing is one of the best ways to avoid exposure and slow the spread of the virus.
- Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people.
- It’s important to follow social distancing recommendations, whether you’re in one of the high-risk groups or not.
- Do not gather in groups.
Self-isolation and self-quarantine. If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 or have COVID-19, self-isolation and self-quarantine will help prevent the spread.
- Self-isolate: if you’re sick with COVID-19, or have symptoms of possible infection .
- Self-quarantine: if you were exposed to someone with COVID-19.
Avoid crowds. Do not gather in groups. It is important to reduce your risk of getting sick, especially if you are higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 because of your age or because you have health problems.
- Stay home if possible.
- Keep away from people who are sick.
- Use food delivery and pickup services, if possible.
- Call family and neighbors who are in the high-risk group to make sure they are ok.
Wear a mask in public. Cloth coverings help slow the spread in our communities.
- Effective May 1, Mainers are required to wear a covering in public setting where physical distancing is difficult to maintain. This includes:
Indoor Areas such as:
- Grocery Stores
- Retail Stores
- Healthcare Facilities
- Doctor’s Offices
- Outdoor Areas such as: Playgrounds, Busy Parking Lots, or Lines for Takeout
- Public Transportation
- A “Cloth Face Covering” is a protection that covers the nose and mouth; fits snugly but comfortably against the side of the face; is secured with ties or ear loops; has multiple layers of fabric; allows for breathing without restriction; and is able to be cleaned and machine dried without damage or change to its shape
- The virus can spread between people in close proximity — for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing — even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms. Some people are infected with the coronavirus, but don’t know it, and these people can spread the virus to others. Wearing a mask protects people from spreading the virus to other people.
Find out how and when to wear a covering, cleaning tips, and how to make your own.
Wash your hands often. Hand washing is one of the best ways to stay healthy.
- Wash hands 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.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. It’s how you can keep the virus from getting into your body.
- The eyes, nose and mouth are areas for disease to enter.
- COVID-19 is believed to spread through respiratory droplets from someone coughing or sneezing.
- If you come into contact with COVID-19, then touch your unwashed hands to any of these areas on your face, you run the risk of infecting yourself.
Stay healthy, stay at home. Staying home is one of the keys to slowing the spread of COVID-19, but it’s also important to take care of your mental and physical health during this uncertain time.
- Stay home as much as you can.
- Limit visitors.
- Don’t travel.
- Avoid public transportation
- If you are sick, call your doctor first.
- Take care of yourself.
If you smoke, think about quitting. Your health can noticeably improve in the days and weeks after quitting in ways that could make a difference.
- If you smoke, it increases the possibility of transmission of virus from hand to mouth.
- You may also have reduced lung capacity which would greatly increase risk of serious illness. Learn More