Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak: Guidance for the Public
Protect Yourself and Others Against COVID-19
What to do to stay and keep others safe from COVID-19
- Keep at least 1 meter distance between you and other people to reduce your risk of infection when others cough, sneeze or speak. Keep an even greater distance between yourself and other people indoors. The greater the distance, the better.
- Make wearing a mask a normal part of your interaction with other people. . To be as effective as possible, it is essential to use, store, clean and dispose of the masks correctly.
Basic indications on how to put on the mask :
- Wash your hands before putting on the mask, and also before and after removing it and each time you touch it.
- Make sure it covers your nose, mouth, and chin.
- When you remove the mask, store it in a clean plastic bag; if it is made of cloth, wash it every day and if it is a medical mask, throw it in a garbage can.
- Do not use masks with valves.
Specific indications on the type of mask to be used, and under what circumstances, depending on the extent of the virus circulation where you live, where you are going, and who you are.
For more guidance on masks see our Q&A and our videos . There is also a Q&A page on children and masks
In this interview – in English, you will find more information about how the COVID-19 virus infects people, and about our body’s reaction. For specific advice for decision-makers, see the WHO technical guidance.
How to strengthen the security of your environment
- Avoid the 3 “C”: spaces c wrong, c ongestionados, or contacts involving c canoes.
- Outbreaks have been reported in restaurants, choir rehearsals, gymnastics classes, nightclubs, offices, and places of worship where people have gathered, often in crowded indoor places where people often talk loudly, yell, huff, or sing.
- The risks of contagion with the COVID-19 virus are highest in crowded and insufficiently ventilated spaces where infected people spend a lot of time together and in close proximity to each other. It appears that in these settings the virus is more easily spread by respiratory droplets or aerosols, making it even more important to take precautions.
- Meet outdoors. Meetings outdoors are safer than indoors, particularly if indoor spaces are small and lack outside air circulation.
- For more information on how to organize activities such as family reunions, children’s soccer games, and family celebrations, see our Questions and Answers on Small Social Gatherings
- Avoid crowded places or indoors, but if you can’t, take the following precautions:
- Open a window. Increase the ‘natural ventilation flow in enclosed spaces.
- The WHO has published Questions and Answers on ventilation and air conditioning, both for the general public and for people who manage public spaces and buildings.
- Wear a mask (for more detailed information, see above).
Don’t forget the basic rules of good hygiene
- Wash your hands regularly and carefully with a hydroalcoholic gel or soap and water. This kills germs that may be on your hands, including viruses.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Hands touch many surfaces where they could catch the virus. Once contaminated, they can carry the virus to the eyes, nose, or mouth. From there the virus can enter the body and infect it.
- When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a bent elbow or a tissue. Then immediately throw the tissue in a covered bin and wash your hands. By following good ‘respiratory hygiene’ practices, you protect those around you against viruses that cause colds, flu, and COVID-19.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces frequently, particularly those that are touched regularly, such as door handles, faucets, and telephone screens.
What to do if you feel bad
- Know all the symptoms of COVID-19. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are: fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Other less frequent symptoms that may affect some patients are: loss of taste or smell, pain, headache, pharyngotonsillitis, nasal congestion, red eyes, diarrhea or skin rash.
- Stay home in self-isolation, even with mild symptoms such as cough, headache, and low-grade fever, until you recover. Call your health care provider or phone service for guidance. Ask someone to bring you what you need. If you have to leave your home or need someone to be with you, wear a medical mask to avoid infecting others.
- If you have a fever, cough, and shortness of breath, seek immediate medical attention. Call first, if you can, and follow the instructions of your local health authority.
Stay up-to-date with the latest information from reliable sources, including WHO or local and national health authorities where you are. Local and national authorities and public health agencies in your area are in the best position to advise people on what to do to protect themselves.
Ask the WHO
Q: Should I avoid shaking hands with people for the new coronavirus?
A: Yes. Respiratory viruses can be transmitted by shaking hands and touching the eyes, nose, and mouth. It is best to greet with a wave of the hand, a bow of the head, or a bow.
Q: How should I greet another person to avoid contracting coronavirus disease (COVID-19)?
A: To prevent COVID-19, it is safest to avoid physical contact when greeting each other. Other safe ways can be used such as greeting with a wave of the hand or bowing of the head or body.
Q: Is wearing rubber gloves when in public an effective way to prevent infection with the new coronavirus?
A: No. Frequent hand washing provides more protection against the spread of COVID-19 than wearing rubber gloves. The fact of wearing them does not prevent contagion, since if you touch your face while wearing them, the contamination passes from the glove to the face and can cause infection.
Helping Children Manage Stress During the COVID-19 Outbreak
Children can respond to stress in a number of ways, for example by being more dependent, worried, angry or agitated, by withdrawing from themselves, or by wetting the bed.
Be understanding of your child’s reactions, listen to their concerns, and offer more love and attention.
Children need the love and attention of adults in difficult times. Give them more time and attention.
Remember to listen to your children, speak kindly, and reassure them.
When possible, organize play and relaxation times with your child.
As much as possible, try to keep children close to their parents and family and avoid separating them from those who take care of them. In the event of separation (for example, due to hospitalization), be sure to maintain frequent contact (for example, over the phone) and to offer comfort.
Maintain regular routines and schedules as much as possible, or help create different ones in the new environment, particularly school and learning activities, as well as times for safe play and relaxation.
Explain what has happened and what the current situation is and give the children clear information on how they can reduce the risks of contracting the disease; use words they can understand based on their age.
Also provide information on hypothetical situations (for example, a family member and/or the child are beginning to feel unwell and have to go to the hospital for a while so that the doctors can help them recover).