How can I help prevent infection and protect others?
Every person plays a role in stopping the spread of COVID-19, flu, RSV, and other respiratory illnesses that can cause severe disease for infants and the elderly or people with compromised immune systems.
The best thing you can do for yourself, your family, and your community is to get vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19 and flu. Find information about vaccination to inform your decision. You are less likely to become very sick or make other people very sick.
COVID-19 spreads easily
The virus is spread through respiratory droplets. For example:
- If you are breathing in air within in close contact of a person who is infected.
- If an infected person coughs or sneezes and you get splashes or sprays into your eyes, nose, or mouth.
- If you have droplets on your hands that are then transferred to your eyes, nose, or mouth
This why it’s important to wear masks if you might be sick.
Some people with COVID-19 can spread the virus without knowing they have it because they do not experience symptoms (asymptomatic). Others can spread the virus without knowing they have it because they have not developed symptoms yet (pre-symptomatic). Sometimes people with symptoms think they don't have the virus because they used an at-home rapid test, which are frequently wrong when "negative."
Vaccinated people are much less likely to need hospital care or die if they get sick with COVID-19. They more likely to have a mild infection or not experience symptoms at all. While vaccinated people are less infectious than unvaccinated people when they have COVID-19, they can still infect others who could become very ill.
Many people who develop COVID-19 are contagious 1 to 2 days before they first experience symptoms and for the first 5 days they feel ill.
Please follow the CDC's guidelines for protecting yourself and others when our community has high COVID-19 transmission rates, or when you are around people who have weakened immune systems and others who are at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
Thank you for doing your part to keep yourself, your loved ones, and your community safe.