General Prevention Tips
There is no vaccine for COVID-19, but there are many everyday actions you can take to protect yourself from getting COVID-19. These are the same actions that can protect you from getting any respiratory illness.
- Social distance by keeping 6 feet between yourself and others.
- Wear a face covering. This is required by everyone in Colorado over the age of 10 in indoor settings. It is highly suggested in outdoor settings if you cannot keep 6 feet of distance between yourself and others.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay home when you are sick and keep your children at home when they are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipes.
Face Covering Information
SJBPH urges everyone over the age of two to do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19 by wearing a face covering to while in a public place regardless of whether they have fever or symptoms of COVID-19. Public places include public establishments, shops, grocery stores, restaurants, streets, sidewalks or other public ways, and any and all public parks, squares, spaces, grounds, and buildings. For more details, please review the SJBPH Face Covering Advisory (5/7/20).
The Science Behind Face Coverings
- Questions & answers about the statewide mandatory mask order
- Absence of Apparent Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from Two Stylists After Exposure at a Hair Salon with a Universal Face Covering Policy — Springfield, Missouri, May 2020 (CDC, 7/14/20)
- Face Masks and GDP (Goldman Sachs, 6/29/20)
- COVID-19 and mask confusion: Separating myths from realities (UT Southwestern Medical Center, 6/25/20)
- Coronavirus: Covering up ‘helped US sailors avoid infection’ (The Times, 6/15/20)
- Identifying airborne transmission as the dominant route for the spread of COVID-19 (PNAS, 6/11/20)
- Study shows how face masks could prevent a second wave of Covid-19 — but there’s a catch (CNBC, 6/10/20)
- Widespread facemask use could shrink the ‘R’ number and prevent a second COVID-19 wave (University of Cambridge, 6/9/20)
- Q&A: Masks and COVID-19 (WHO, 6/7/20)
- Physical distancing, face masks, and eye protection to prevent person-to-person transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis (The Lancet, 6/1/20)
- A rapid systematic review of the efficacy of face masks and respirators against coronaviruses and other respiratory transmissible viruses for the community, healthcare workers and sick patients (NCBI, 4/30/20)
How to make a no-sew Face Covering
Social distancing, or an effort to reduce close contact between people and slow community transmission of the virus, has become an increasingly vital strategy to fight the disease. Social distancing is particularly important in protecting vulnerable populations from getting sick with COVID-19. This includes older adults, people with cardiac or lung illness, and people with diabetes.
The Science Behind Social Distancing
- Assessment of Deaths From COVID-19 and From Seasonal Influenza (JAMA Internal Medicine, 5/14/20)
- The power of social distancing (UChicago Medicine, 3/27/20)
Social distancing steps:
- Don’t shake hands or hug.
- Increase the distance between yourself and other people to six feet at a minimum to help reduce spread.
- When participating in outdoor exercise, extend distance between yourself and other people to 15 feet (source).
- Do not gather in groups greater than 10 (As of 3/18/20, Governor Polis has ordered limiting gatherings to no more than 10 people).
- Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings.
- Follow CDC guidelines on travel.
- If you are sick, stay home or get treatment from your doctor (call ahead), and stay away from others.
- If you are well, stay away from others who are sick.
Social distancing is particularly important in protecting vulnerable populations from getting sick with COVID-19. This includes older adults, people with cardiac, lung, or kidney disease, and people with diabetes. People at higher risk should take action now to be prepared for this virus if there is an outbreak in their community. For people at higher risk, preparing means being ready to stay at home as much as possible if there is an outbreak in the community and paying extra attention to everyday actions like staying away from sick people, washing your hands frequently, and avoiding crowds.
Community interventions such as closures of public agencies, buildings, school, ski areas, libraries, and events are ways to create social distancing and reduce the spread of COVID-19. Through these closures, local public health officials, elected officials, school superintendents, and businesses owners are prioritizing the protection of the health of local residents and visitors. We also need your help in these efforts. Everyone’s daily preventive actions are important in reducing spread to people who may experience more severe illness.
Together, we can make a difference by committing to responsible choices that will best support our resilient community.
If you are at higher risk (including older adults and people with serious medical conditions such as heart disease, lung disease and diabetes) of getting very sick from COVID-19, you should:
- Stock up on supplies.
- Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others.
- When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash your hands often.
- Avoid crowds as much as possible.
- Avoid cruise travel and non-essential air travel.
- During a COVID-19 outbreak in your community, stay home as much as possible to further reduce your risk of being exposed.