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8 Tips You Must Follow to Avoid COVID, Say Doctors

Share this checklist and save a life—including yours.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

As coronavirus infections, hospitalizations, and deaths continue to climb across the country, many people want to know what they can do to stop the spread of the devastating virus that has already killed more than 820,000. According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, if every one of us followed some simple "fundamentals," we could collectively flatten the COVID-19 curves and save lives. The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said we must do these things—read on to find out more—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.

1

Get Vaccinated and Boosted

Nurse gives students a vaccination in school during coronavirus pandemic
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Vaccinations and boosters have never been more important now that Omicron is here. The majority of people who are being hospitalized or dying are unvaccinated. "The best piece of news is that if we continue and I hope people who are now seeing the devastating effects that this virus has done on us with the Omicron surge, that we get more people vaccinated to the point that when Omicron comes down to a low level, we keep it down at a low level enough that it doesn't disrupt our society, our economy, our way of life," said Dr. Fauci. "That's what I'm hoping for. I hope that as we get into February and March and such that we will be at that level of control."

2

Wear a Face Mask

Woman in a restaurant with face protection mask kn95.
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Wear a mask, says Dr. Fauci. "I mean, obviously—if you put a mask on, you prevent the exhaling of droplets that would infect others,"  he told host Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC. "So it's very clear that you are protecting someone and their mask is protecting you." Plus: "Data has now shown the added benefit [is that the mask protects] you from droplets and virus that's coming your way. So it's a two-way street in that the benefit of masks, right now."

RELATED: Here's How You Can Catch COVID Even If You're Vaccinated

3

Continue Social Distancing

Shopper with mask standing in line to buy groceries due to coronavirus pandemic in grocery store
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"Physical distancing is one of the most important things in addition and complementary to a mask," Fauci points out. "So when you're out, you can do many things and still maintain a six-foot physical distance."

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4

Avoid Crowds

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Avoid congregate settings, says Dr. Fauci, who has been advising against crowds since the beginning of the pandemic, but even louder during this Omicron surge. "The safest thing to do is to be in a home setting, friends, relatives, who you know are vaccinated and boosted. If you want to go the extra step of safety, then get a quick antigen test, which will give you an extra degree of safety. What you wanna avoid are places where you have 20, 30, 40, 50 people, many of whom you have no idea of whether or not they're vaccinated or boosted. That's more risky than the home settings."

RELATED: Omicron Symptoms Doctors are Seeing Most

5

Stop Going to Bars

Fauci has repeatedly warned that Americans should consider one place a no-go zone: Bars. "Bars: really not good, really not good. Congregation at a bar, inside, is bad news. We really have got to stop that," he said in a June 30 Senate hearing, and it still applies. "We should close the bars until we get this under control," he asserts. 

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6

Order Takeout—or at Least Sit Outdoors at Restaurants

Woman Wearing Homemade Mask Picks Up Food at Restaurant During Covid-19 Lockdown
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When it comes to indoor dining, Dr. Fauci maintains there is risk during Omicron. "So when you're in a situation where you have so many infections going out, the thing that you want to say is that if you want to do things like that, better do them in a setting where you know, the people around you are vaccinated and boosted. And that's the reason why I've been saying, when asked about the holiday season"—and it applies to now, January: "The safest thing to do is to be in a home setting."

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7

Prioritize Personal Hygiene

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Don't forget about personal hygiene. "Just wash your hands," Fauci orders. It can be a quick fix: Instead of wiping down every single shopping bag, for example, he says, "I do have a bag that I bring into my house. Instead of worrying about the bag, I'll open the bag, and then I'll just wash my hands thoroughly, which is what you should do." Do it for 20 seconds each time.

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8

Do Things Outdoors More Than Indoors

Cheerful university student taking selfie with friends sitting on grass.
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The evidence has shown that "outdoor is always better than indoor if you want to do any kind of a function," Dr. Fauci said. That goes for family functions also. "People have to make their individual choice, particularly who you have in your home," Fauci explained. "Are they vulnerable people? Are they elderly? Are they people with underlying conditions? Unless you absolutely know that you're not infected," he warns about the potential implications of being indoors with others, specifically, "if you want to have people who are going to be flying in from a place that has a lot of infection, you're going to an airport that might be crowded, you're on a plane," he continued. "There are many people who are not going to want to take that risk."

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9

Fauci Says Don't Despair

medicine doctor wearing face mask and blue scrubs standing corporate in health care work concept
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"The best piece of news is that if we continue and I hope people who are now seeing the devastating effects that this virus has done on us with the Omicron surge, that we get more people vaccinated to the point that when Omicron comes down to a low level, we keep it down at a low level enough that it doesn't disrupt our society, our economy, our way of life. That's what I'm hoping for. I hope that as we get into February and March and such that we will be at that level of control." He cautioned: "That's not a prediction, because it's dangerous to predict. I'm just telling what I hope we can do, because I believe we can do it. If we do all the things available for us, again, get vaccinated. If you're not vaccinated and get boosted, if you are vaccinated. So get vaccinated and boosted, 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.
Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more
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