CDC How to Protect Yourself & Others

The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) is one of the major operating components of the Department of Health and Human Services. CDC works 24/7 to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the U.S. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are chronic or acute, curable or preventable, human error or deliberate attack, CDC fights disease and supports communities and citizens to do the same.

  • Everyone ages 2 years and older should properly wear a well-fitting mask indoors in public in areas where the COVID-19 Community Level is high, regardless of vaccination status.
  • Wear a mask with the best fit, protection, and comfort for you.
  • If you are in an area with a high COVID-19 Community Level and are ages 2 or older, wear a mask indoors in public.
  • If you are sick and need to be around others, or are caring for someone who has COVID-19, wear a mask.
  • If you are at increased risk for severe illness, or live with or spend time with someone at higher risk, speak to your healthcare provider about wearing a mask at medium COVID-19 Community Levels.

Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and while indoors at U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations. Travelers are not required to wear a mask in outdoor areas of a conveyance (like on open deck areas of a ferry or the uncovered top deck of a bus).


  • Inside your home: Avoid close contact with people who are sick, if possibleIf possible, maintain 6 feet between the person who is sick and other household members. If you are taking care of someone who is sick, make sure you properly wear a well-fitting mask and follow other steps to protect yourself.
  • Indoors in public: If you are not up to date on COVID-19 vaccines, stay at least 6 feet away from other people, especially if you are at higher risk of getting very sick with COVID-19.

Avoid Poorly Ventilated Spaces


Wash your hands often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • It’s especially important to wash your hands:
    • Before eating or preparing food
    • Before touching your face
    • After using the restroom
    • After leaving a public place
    • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
    • After handling your mask
    • After changing a diaper
    • After caring for someone sick
    • After touching animals or pets
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Be alert for symptoms:
    • Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
    • Take your temperature if symptoms develop.
    • Don’t take your temperature within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications that could lower your temperature, like acetaminophen.
    • Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.
  • Monitoring symptoms is especially important if you are running errands, going into the office or workplace, and in settings where it may be difficult to keep a physical distance of 6 feet.