father, son and daughter washing hands together

Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 at Home

We each play a critical role in preventing the spread of COVID-19. There are several steps we can take to help prevent the spread of the virus within our own walls.

Keep COVID-19 outside your home.

While it may sound obvious, the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in your home is to keep the virus from ever entering it. Here are some tips to keep you safe and healthy:

Get vaccinated.

Getting the COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and your family from infection.

Wear a mask in high-risk settings and avoid exposure to germs.

  • Everyone age 2 and older should wear a face covering (a bandana or other cloth that is tightly woven) in a high-risk setting. If you hold up your mask or face cover and see light coming through it, the weave is not tight enough.
  • Read the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s tips about making face coverings.
  • Avoid touching common surfaces, like door handles, gas pumps, shopping carts, pay screens/pads, etc. These surfaces may be covered with coronavirus and other germs that can make you sick.
  • Don’t touch your face. Viruses can enter your body through your eyes, nose and mouth.

Protect your family from COVID-19.

Here’s what you can do to keep your family safe when you return from trips out in public:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before you touch anything or anyone in your home. If soap and water aren’t handy, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Disinfect surfaces that you and others often touch in your home, including doorknobs, light switches, countertops, phone and keyboards. If surfaces are dirty, clean them with detergent or soap and water before disinfecting.

Quarantine following COVID-19 exposure or infection.

A person who may have been exposed to COVID-19 can self-quarantine, staying completely away from other people inside the home. Because someone can be infected without feeling symptoms, this helps limit the spread.

If someone in your household may have been exposed to COVID-19 or is diagnosed with infection:

  • Establish a room and a bathroom, if possible, that will only be used by the person under quarantine.
  • Don’t share plates, glasses, cups or utensils. Wash all these items in a dishwasher or with dishwashing liquid and warm water.
  • Don’t allow visitors in your home.
  • Monitor the health of all household members. Each person should call their health care provider if they develop symptoms of COVID-19 (including fever, cough and shortness of breath).

Anyone who becomes sick should stay home, completely isolate themselves from healthy people and follow their health care provider’s guidance.

See the CDC list of recommendations for how you can best care for someone at home.

Before you go,

Get additional tips on keeping your family healthy and safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more COVID-19 articles.