Take Simple Precautions
It is important that everyone take simple precautions to prevent the spread of all infectious diseases. The actions below protect you and help keep the community safe, especially our most vulnerable residents, by slowing the spread of the disease.
- Stay informed
- Wash hands with liquid soap and water, and rub for at least 20 seconds
- Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water aren't available. Look for one with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands
- Follow the CDC’s guidance to Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using normal household cleansers
- Practice social distancing, and try alternatives to shaking hands, like an elbow bump or wave
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- If you have recently returned from a country, state or region with ongoing COVID-19 infections, monitor your health and follow the instructions of public health officials.
- Stay home if you are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze
- There is no recommendation to wear masks at this time to prevent yourself from getting sick.
- Get a flu shot to protect yourself and others from the flu, which has similar symptoms to COVID-19.
- Follow the CDC’s travel guidelines
- Plan for the possibility of school dismissals, cancellations of large gatherings, and other ways to reduce contact between people
The CDC website has additional information about how to get your household ready for a potential outbreak.
Practice Physical Distancing
To lessen the impact of COVID-19 on our community, we must reduce the times and places when people come together. By acting now, we can reduce how fast and how far the virus spreads. Try alternatives to shaking hands, such as bows, foot taps, elbow bumps or waves.
Wear Cloth Face Coverings in Public Places
The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. This is in addition to staying home, physical distancing, and washing hands frequently.
Do not buy surgical masks to use as a face covering. Those are intended for healthcare workers and first responders.
Many items you may already have in your home can be used to create face coverings. Try creating a cloth face covering using bandanas, ski masks, washable napkins, or dish towels. Your cloth face covering should:
- Reach above the nose, below the chin, and completely cover the mouth and nostrils
- Fit snugly against the sides of the face
- Be made of multiple layers of fabric that you can still breathe through
- Be able to be laundered and machine dried without damaging the material or shape
Guidance for Persons at Higher Risk
Persons at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, such as older people and people with certain underlying health conditions like heart disease, lung disease and diabetes, should stay home and away from crowded social gatherings as much as possible.
Prepare for Possible Disruptions
To prepare for the possible disruptions caused by an outbreak, you should:
- Make sure you have adequate emergency supplies such as food and essential medications.
- Make a childcare plan if you or a care giver are sick.
- Plan for how you can care for a sick family member without getting sick yourself.
- Take care of each other and check in by phone with friends, family and neighbors.
- Learn more about how to manage emotional health during uncertain times.
Support Mental and Emotional Health
It is natural to feel stress, fear, or other strong emotions as we face this pandemic and the resulting effects. Make sure to take care of yourself and others, including family, friends, and neighbors.The Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
offers the following tips for coping with stress during this time:
- Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
- Take care of your body.
- Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate
- Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals
- Exercise regularly
- Get plenty of sleep
- Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
- Connect with others. Talk on the phone with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
Seniors can be particularly vulnerable to isolation. This webpage has specific guidance on promoting well-being for seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hotlines are available if you need to talk to someone.
If you are feeling overwhelmed with sadness, depression, or anxiety, or feel like you want to harm yourself or others, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.
There are additional resources available if you are in crisis:
- 24-hour Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 or text 838255
- 24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline:1-800-799-7233 or click Chat Now
- Call 911 if you or the person you are helping is in immediate danger.
- Disaster Distress Helpline:Call 1-800-985-5990 (TTY 800-846-8517) or text TalkWithUs to 66746 for 24/7 support.
- Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741 for 24/7 crisis support.
- California Suicide & Crisis Hotlines:Find phone numbers and links to all the suicide and crisis hotlines by county in California.
- California Peer-Run Warm Line: Call 1-855-845-7415 for 24/7 non-emergency emotional support.