More than 5 million people in the United States have now been infected with the coronavirus, with the number of cases increasing from 4 to 5 million in less than 20 days. Public health officials say it’s still critical to follow COVID-19 safety guidelines. The American Red Cross offers steps you can take, based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance. Be sure to follow guidelines from your state and local public health officials.
- Stay home if you are sick. Call your health care provider before you get medical care.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Use the inside of your elbow if a tissue isn’t available.
- Continue to frequently wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol when soap and water aren’t available. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Continue to social distance by staying 6 feet away from others and to wear cloth face coverings in public, especially if you are at high risk for serious illness from COVID-19 (over age 65 or any age with underlying medical conditions).
- Practice social distancing if using public transportation. Limit contact when running errands. If possible, use drive-through, curbside pick-up or delivery services to limit face-to-face contact with others. Maintain a physical distance between yourself and delivery service providers during exchanges and wear a cloth face covering.
- Stay connected with phone calls, video chats or social media. If attending a small gathering of family or friends, stay at least 6 feet away from people you don’t live with.
- Avoid crowded places and gatherings. If you are in a crowded space, wear a cloth face covering, especially if social distancing will be difficult.
- If you decide to visit a nearby park, trail or recreational facility, first check for closures or restrictions. If open, consider how many other people might be there and choose a location where it will be possible to keep at least 6 feet of space between yourself and other people who are not from your household.
- Headed to the beach or public pool? Whether you’re in or out of the water, stay at least 6 feet away from people you don’t live with. Wear cloth face coverings when you are not in the water. Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer. Avoid sharing items, such as food, equipment, toys, and supplies, with people who don’t live with you.
- Planning to travel this summer? Find out if your state government will require you to quarantine for 14 days when you get home. If you do get sick, people with COVID-19 need to stay home until they are no longer considered infectious.
Know the symptoms of COVID-19, which can appear two to 14 days after exposure. They include, but are not limited to, fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and want to get tested, call your health care provider first. Decisions about testing are made by state and local health departments or health care providers. You can visit your state or local health department’s website to look for the latest local information on testing.
For more information, review CDC guidance.
RED CROSS RESOURCES AVAILABLE The COVID-19 pandemic is challenging employees and businesses in new ways. Returning to Work during COVID-19: Safe Work Practices is an online course with measures employers can take to help maintain a safe and healthy workplace and ways employees can help limit the spread of COVID-19 once they return to work.
In addition, the uncertainty associated with a global health crisis like COVID-19 challenges everyone's ability to cope. Psychological First Aid: Supporting Yourself and Others during COVID-19 is an online course designed to help individuals build resilience and support themselves and lend support to others during and following the COVID-19 outbreak.