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Preparing your Family and Household for COVID-19

Communities with multi-generational households or those in rural areas may experience unique challenges with social distancing, access to grocery stores, water, and local health services. However, there are several steps individuals can take to keep your home and family safe.

  • Wash hands often following these steps:

  • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.

  • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.

  • Scrub your hands, palms, back, between fingers and around fingernails for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.

  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water. If you do not have running water, make sure your water source is clean.

  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

  • If you can’t wash with soap and water, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

  • Place a dime-sized amount in your palm and rub hands together, covering all parts of the hand, fingers and nails until they feel dry

  • Remind everyone in the household to avoid touching their face and cover their coughs and sneezes with the inside of their elbow or with a tissue, and then throw the tissue away.

  • Regularly clean frequently touched surfaces (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks, and electronics (see below for special electronics cleaning and disinfection instructions)) with household cleaners and EPA-registered disinfectants that are appropriate for the surface, following label instructions. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.

  • It is important for people at higher risk for severe illness, hospitalization or death from COVID-19, to limit time spent away from the home. People at higher risk for severe illness include those who:

  • are aged 65 years and older

  • live in a nursing home or long-term care facility

  • People of all ages with underlying medical conditions, including people with:

  • chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma

  • serious heart conditions

  • conditions that can cause a person to be immunocompromised including cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications

  • severe obesity

  • diabetes

  • chronic kidney disease and who are undergoing dialysis

  • liver disease

  • It isn’t known if pregnant women are more likely to get sick from COVID-19, or if they are at higher risk to get severely ill. Pregnant women have had a higher risk of developing severe illness with other respiratory infections. It is always important for pregnant women to protect themselves from illness.

  • Lack of access to grocery stores, water and health services may require more frequent trips to the store. If possible, send individuals that are not at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 to gather essentials for the home.

  • Wear a cloth face covering in public settings, like grocery stores and pharmacies, where it may be more difficult to maintain social distancing.

For Tips for Multi-Generational Households, click here.

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