Protect Yourself and Others from COVID-19

Last updated on Wednesday, Nov 25 2020, 09:02:15 AM

COVID-19 spreads mainly through close contact between people, especially when they are within about six feet of each other for more than 15 minutes. People who are infected but do not show symptoms can also spread the virus to others. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. Follow this guidance to protect yourself and others and lower the chances of catching and spreading COVID-19.

  • Wear a mask and watch your distance any time you’re near people you don’t live with, indoors and outdoors.
  • Limit social contact to only the people you live with—your household. Don’t go shopping, have meals, get coffee, or take part in other social activities with those outside your small, stable group. Continue to wear a mask and watch your distance when you’re with that small, stable group.
  • Stick to essential activities and continue to take it outside. Essential activities include going to work or school, exercising, medical appointments, and buying goods and meals.
  • Work remotely whenever possible.
  • Limit in-person holiday gatherings to only people you live with. Do not travel or host guests for the holidays.
  • Stay home and apart from others if you have any symptoms, if you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or if you are in quarantine or isolation.
  • Remember the three Ws!
    • Wear a mask that’s at least two layers thick and fits snugly but comfortably over your nose, mouth, and chin without any gaps.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Or carry and use hand sanitizer that’s at least 60% alcohol.
    • Watch your distance by staying at least six feet apart from others.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. Rhode Island is actively planning for COVID-19 vaccination and will share more information as it becomes available.

This guidance may change as COVID-19 case counts change.

Lower risk behavior

Staying home and avoiding contact with people you don’t live with is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

  • Limit in-person contact to only people you live with and people you interact with for essential services. Essential activities include going to work or school, exercising, medical appointments, and buying goods and meals.
  • Find safer, creative ways to interact with people you don’t live with, like hosting virtual dinner parties, dance parties, movie nights, or game nights.

Moderate risk behavior

If you live alone or are a single parent, create a stable group to limit your contact to one other household that doesn’t change, as long as the group is not more than five people. Creating a stable group with another household will help ease loneliness and provide improved social support for those who feel isolated.

  • A stable group describes a small group of people other than those you live with who have agreed to socialize only with each other.
  • People in a stable group commit to the same precautions to protect each other from COVID-19.
  • Any time you’re near people outside your stable group, wear your mask and watch your distance.
    • Learn about people’s health conditions. Ask people you might join a stable group with if they have any underlying health conditions, such as diabetes or asthma, that may put them at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19. If there are people in the group who are at risk, it may be best to find other ways to socialize without in-person interaction.
    • Set some ground rules. Make sure you create a group with people you really trust so everyone feels comfortable and safe. Have honest conversations to decide whether you and the other people in your group agree on what kinds of behaviors you will and won’t take part in.
    • Make sure no one has been sick. Before being in close contact with anyone else, people who have had COVID-19 have to be 24 hours without a fever or fever-reducing medications and 10 days since their first symptoms appeared. Their symptoms must have also improved.

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