Infection prevention to reduce your risk

How can you keep you and your family safe and prevent the spread of infection?

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to reduce the risk of infection is to practice general infection prevention control. This includes:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
  • Stay home when you are ill.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately throw the tissue in the garbage and wash your hands.
  • If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve or arm.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces like door knobs, toilet seats, light switches, etc.
  • Wipe down phones, computers and other devices regularly with alcohol wipes.
  • Self-isolate if you are symptomatic or if you may have been exposed to the virus.
  • Wear a mask if you are symptomatic both in the home if you have close contact with others and if you leave to seek treatment
  • Voluntarily avoid crowded places.

Do I need to wear a mask?

  • If you have symptoms you should wear a mask in the home if you live with others. You must also wear a mask if you need to leave your home for medical appointments. Otherwise stay home for 14 days or until you have not symptoms. Wear a mask if you are symptomatic both in the home if you have close contact with others and if you leave to seek treatment.
  • There is no evidence for the general public that wearing a mask protects you. It may however protect others especially in situations where physical distancing is difficult. Wear a homemade mask if you feel it is important to you to protect others. Reserve medical masks for healthcare workers. Masks are not recommended for healthy individuals to wear during their normal daily activities.
  • When and How to Wear a Mask: Recommendations for the General Public
  • Pros/cons of wearing a cloth mask (infographic)
  • How to safely wear a mask (infographic)

Do I need to take extra precautions if I am pregnant?

  • The risk management advice is the same whether someone is pregnant or not.

Can I make my own hand sanitizer?

  • For hand sanitizer to be effective, it must have at least 60% alcohol content, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Recipes for DIY (do-it-yourself) hand sanitizer are all over the internet, however it can be difficult to ensure the concentrations are correct. If incorrectly made, it can be harmful.
  • All hand sanitizers should be kept away from children.
  • The best option is still to wash your hands with soap and water when available.