In the face of increasingly widespread fears of a COVID-19 pandemic, what concrete steps can a person take right now to prevent the infection? Here are some pratical tips:

  1. Clean the hands regularly with an alcohol-based sanitizer, or wash them with soap and water. The CDC also make this recommendation, advising that sanitizer should contain “at least 60% alcohol” and that people should wash their hands for at least 20 seconds.
  2. Clean surfaces — such as kitchen seats and work desks — regularly with disinfectant.
  3. Avoid crowded areas when going out, for people over 60 years old and people with any underlying health problems.
  4. Try to avoid close contact with people who display flu-like symptoms, including coughing and sneezing.
  5. Get accurate information about COVID-19. Some good sources include the Pan American Health Organization and WHO websites.

The American Red Cross also advise against touching the mouth, nose, or eyes when out and about, before having a chance to wash the hands.

Also, the CDC recommend getting the flu shot to prevent other seasonal respiratory infections.

The CDC recommend that all people wear cloth face masks in public places where it is difficult to maintain a 6-foot (2-meter) distance from others. This will help slow the spread of the virus from asymptomatic people and people who do not know that they have contracted it. People should wear cloth face masks while continuing to practice physical distancing. Candid Clean masks help you stay safe and save the environment at the same time.

Note: It is critical that surgical masks and N95 respirators are reserved for healthcare workers.