COVID-19 Facts: Protect Your Household
Make a Plan
It’s important to have a household plan of action in case you or members of your household get sick or your daily routine is disrupted because of COVID-19. Take steps to protect your health and the health of those around you during an outbreak:
- Find ways to keep in touch with others while practicing physical distancing. Physical distancing does not mean social isolation. Find ways to stay in touch with family and friends through phone, email, or video.
- Talk with your supervisor about working from home, look into childcare alternatives, and what to do if events are cancelled.
- Plan ways to care for family members who might be at a greater risk for serious complications of COVID-19, including older adults and those with chronic medical conditions.
- It is best for people with COVID-19 to have a separate bedroom and use a different bathroom, if possible.
Know the Signs and Symptoms of COVID-19
The following symptoms may appear 2–14 days after you are exposed to the virus:
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Muscle pain
- New loss of taste or smell
*Some people may also experience fatigue or gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain. If you have these symptoms, call your health care provider. Stay home and limit your contact with household members. Not everyone with COVID-19 has all of these symptoms. For many, symptoms are mild, with no fever. You can still spread the virus to others even if you have mild or no symptoms.
Protect Yourself and Others
Follow everyday preventive measures:
- Stay home as much as possible. Cancel events and avoid groups, gatherings, play dates, and nonessential appointments.
- Limit your trips to the essentials, like getting groceries or picking up
- Stay at least six feet away from other people and wear a face mask or cloth face covering.
- If you are sick, avoid contact with other people, including household members. Only leave the house to get medical care.
- Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
- Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily (e.g., tables, counter tops, light switches, doorknobs, and cabinet handles). See CDC’s recommendations for household cleaning and disinfection.
Manage Anxiety and Stress
Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Ways to cope with stress include trying to:
- Take a break from the news, including social media.
- Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
- Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
- Talk with people you trust. Explain your concerns and how you are feeling.