Steps to help protect against COVID-19
Help protect yourself, your loved ones and your community from severe illness from COVID-19 by following these recommendations.
2. Wash Your Hands Often
Scrub with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If you are unable to wash your hands, using hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol is a good alternative.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth—as it allows the germs on your hands to reach moist, porous surface tissue where the germs can enter your body and cause infection.
Cough and sneeze into a tissue, or elbow if necessary. Then immediately dispose of the tissue and wash your hands.
Download the Preventing Infectious Respiratory Illnesses Poster for your workplace or community organization with an overview of handwashing and use of hand sanitizer.
3. Improve Ventilation
Improving ventilation and filtration can decrease the number of virus particles indoors and help protect you from getting infected with COVID-19 since spread happens easier inside rather than outside.
- Getting fresh outdoor air into your home by opening windows
- Filtering the air that is there and
- Improving air flow
You can also use CDC’s Interactive Home Ventilation Tool to learn how to decrease the level of COVID-19 virus particles during and after guests visit your home.
4. Disinfect if You Have COVID-19
If someone is sick or has tested positive for COVID-19, then you should disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as door handles, light switches, faucets and phones, often and with an approved disinfectant. If surfaces are dirty, first clean them using soap and water.
COVID-19 Vaccine Facts
COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective and provide protection against serious illness, hospitalization and death. Here are some more facts you should know:
- COVID-19 vaccines help our bodies develop immunity against the virus that causes COVID-19.
- COVID-19 vaccines cannot give you COVID-19.
- COVID-19 vaccines only protect you against the virus that causes COVID-19, not any other respiratory virus.
- It takes a couple weeks after vaccination for your body to build protection.
- Side effects after vaccination are common, mostly mild, and differ from person to person. This is a sign that your body is building immunity.
- You should get an updated COVID-19 vaccine regardless of past vaccination status and if you already had COVID-19.
- If you recently tested positive for COVID-19, you still should get an updated COVID-19 vaccine, but you can consider waiting 3 months after COVID-19 illness to get vaccinated.
- You can receive both your COVID-19 and flu vaccinations at the same visit.
Talk to an expert
Our Lung HelpLine is staffed by registered nurses and respiratory therapists ready to help answer your questions about COVID-19. Connect with us by phone, email or live chat.
Reviewed and approved by the American Lung Association Scientific and Medical Editorial Review Panel.
Page last updated: February 2, 2024