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Top 10 Ways To Avoid COVID Now, According to CDC

"We must take prevention intervention seriously," says the director of the CDC.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

We are in year two of the COVID-19 global pandemic, and everyone is trying to avoid getting sick before they're vaccinated (especially now that there are new, and more transmissible, mutations of coronavirus). There are many different ways to avoid catching COVID-19, and many are easy to practice. "We must take prevention intervention seriously," says Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "Now is not the time to let our guard down. Keep taking steps to protect each other." Here are the top 10 ways to avoid COVID, informed by recommendations from the CDC. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus


Get A Vaccine ASAP

Doctor in personal protective suit or PPE inject vaccine shot to stimulating immunity of woman patient at risk of coronavirus infection.

This is the best and most effective way to avoid getting the coronavirus. There are a few varieties of vaccines available now, including Pfizer and Moderna—and if supplies are out, more are on the way. "The goal is for everyone to be able to get a COVID-19 vaccination easily as soon as large quantities of vaccine are available," says the CDC. "As the vaccine supply increases, more groups will be added to receive vaccination." "The easiest way to evade this negative effect of these new isolates is to just when the vaccine becomes available, people should get vaccinated," Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Meet the Press. "Boy, if ever there was a clarion call for people to put aside vaccine hesitancy. If we can get the overwhelming majority of the population vaccinated, we'd be in very good shape and could beat even the mutant." In order to find the vaccine in your state, click here.


Wear A Mask Covering Your Nose and Mouth

woman puts on face mask

Wearing a mask whenever you need to go outside is not only effective—it is also required to enter many public places, and to use public transportation. When you are wearing a mask, you have to make sure it covers both your mouth and your nose, and that you can secure it under your chin. If you are unable to do so with your mask, it's very likely that it doesn't fit, and that you need to either adjust it, or buy a new one. If your mask needs to constantly be adjusted, you might also need to get a new one. Make sure that you have a few masks ready to go, just in case. 


Stay Six Feet Away from Others

Two friends with protective masks greet with waving to each other.Alternative greeting during quarantine to avoid physical contact

The CDC requires people to stay six feet apart from others when in public. Six feet apart is about two arm-lengths away from someone else. Many stores and public businesses will have markers on the floor, or on the walls, telling people where to stand. People who do not have symptoms, are still able to spread the virus, so keeping distance from others is the best way to avoid catching COVID. If someone in your house is sick, maintain distance from them in your home. 


Avoid Crowds

crowded checkout

Being in a crowded area makes it highly likely for someone to get COVID. So, avoid large crowds, or packed public spaces. The CDC recommends avoiding areas like bars, restaurants, fitness centers, and movie theaters. These spaces all tend to get crowded, and are not necessary places that your need to visit. 


Avoid Spaces with Poor Ventilation

Woman open window in the morning at home

The COVID virus is an airborne virus. So, avoid spaces that do not have ventilation, or do not open their windows. If you are inside, or in your home, open your windows and doors, if possible. You can also use an air filter, the CDC recommends pleated filters, fans placed next to an open window, exhaust fans that are found in kitchens or bathrooms, or an air cleaner to improve ventilation. The CDC recommends opening windows if you have to have a visitor over.


Wash Your Hands Often

Woman Washing her hands with soap and water at home bathroom

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, advises practicing good "hand hygiene." Make sure you wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. The CDC recommends washing your hands after you have been in a public place, coughing or sneezing, blowing your nose, being around someone sick, touching animals or pets, and handling your mask. They also recommend washing your hands before eating or preparing food, and before touching your face. 


Use and Carry Hand Sanitizer

Happy young woman wearing protective face mask disinfects her hands with alcohol sanitizer while sitting at table in restaurant on summer day.

If soap and water are not nearby for you to use, the CDC recommends using hand sanitizer as an alternative. The CDC suggests using a type of hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. When using hand sanitizer, make sure you cover all the surfaces of your hands, and rub them until they feel dry. There are also small containers of hand sanitizer available to purchase, so you can carry it around in public. Hand sanitizer is not a substitute for washing your hands, but it is still a great way to protect yourself. 


Clean and Disinfect Surfaces

Young woman with face mask working indoors in cafe, disinfecting counter.

The coronavirus is an airborne illness; however, it can still spread on surfaces. Especially if these surfaces are touched by several people, or if they appear to be dirty. The CDC recommends disinfecting surfaces like doorknobs, light switches, handles, phones, keyboards, and even sinks. They also recommend cleaning surfaces like desks, tables, and countertops. The EPA put out a list of the best disinfectants to use against coronavirus, if you want to know which disinfectants to buy.


Cover Your Mouth When You Cough or Sneeze

Man sneezing into his elbow.

If you feel like you are about to cough or sneeze, make sure that your mouth is covered if you do so. The best way to cover your mouth is by coughing or sneezing into your elbow, so germs do not get on your hands. Another way to cover your mouth is by using a tissue, and then throwing it away. Finally, wash your hands with soap and water immediately after coughing or sneezing. 

RELATED: Dr. Fauci Just Said When We'd Get Back to Normal


 Monitor Your Health Daily


If you feel like you might have any COVID symptoms, keep track of them, and see how long they last. Symptoms to watch out for include, fever, coughing, shortness of breath. If you experience these symptoms, take and monitor your temperature. However, the CDC advises people to not take their temperatures after exercising or doing heavy physical activity, or taking medication that can affect your temperature. This is especially important to do if you have to run essential errands or go to your workplace. 


So Let's All Do Our Part To Stay Safe

Young caucasian woman wearing surgical gloves putting face mask on, protection from spread of Coronavirus

Follow Fauci's fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Anna Bechtel
Anna Bechtel is a freelance writer currently based in Hamden, CT. Read more
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