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Whether it’s obeying the governor’s order to stay at home as much as possible or hanging back a few extra feet when you wait in line at the grocery store, each step you take to combat COVID-19 is a chance to look out for your neighbors’ (and your own) well-being.

Here are some of the easiest and most important things you can do.

Wash your hands — the right way.

It’s not enough to just give your hands a quick rinse with a dab of soap. To really stop germs, you need to scrub them vigorously for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water.

And get every inch of skin, from your hands to your wrists, between your fingers and under your fingernails.

Handwashing Infographic

Why? Because germs are more resilient than you think. They can survive a light wash, then make their way onto your face or other surfaces, so make sure to wash your hands properly.

Cover that cough or sneeze, vampire-style.

Feeling the urge to cough or sneeze? Don’t use your hands to block the blast. Instead, bury your nose and mouth in your crooked elbow, like Dracula whipping his cape over the lower half of his face.

It might look dramatic, but it’s hands-down the best move you can make. Another good option: Cough or sneeze into a tissue. Just be sure to throw it away and wash your hands afterward.

Why? Like most colds and flu, COVID-19 is primarily spread by droplets of saliva. Coughing or sneezing into your hand means you’re likely spreading germs onto whatever you touch next.

Practice physical distancing.

Whenever possible, steer clear of other people in public places. And remember: Physical distancing is different from social distancing.

You’re probably hearing the term “social distancing” a lot lately, but what’s really needed is some physical distance between people. It’s actually important to keep in contact with friends and loved ones, especially as our time of isolation grows. So call. Video chat. Email. Send an old-fashioned handwritten letter. Those who might be isolated to begin with, like seniors with limited mobility, will especially appreciate the connection.

But when you’re out and about, doing only those approved necessary activities, keep at least 6 feet between yourself and others.

Social distancing infographic

Why? Droplets from a cough or sneeze generally don’t travel more than 6 feet. By staying outside that perimeter, you’re safe if someone doesn’t do the proper vampire face-covering move.

Three simple steps. Big results.

Stop COVID-19 in its tracks:

  • Keep at least 6 feet of personal space between yourself and others
  • Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly
  • Cover your cough or sneeze

Next steps:

At home with the whole family? Check out these survival tips
Visit our online Coronavirus Resource Center

Need to sneeze? Bury your nose and mouth in your crooked elbow.
Bury your nose and mouth in your crooked elbow when you have the urge to cough or sneeze.