Prevent the Spread of Respiratory Illnesses
Practice good hygiene:
Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and
water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
Avoid touching eyes, mouth and nose with unwashed hands.
Do not share personal items such as water bottles.
Avoid close contact with individuals who are sick.
Stay home when you are sick. Remain home for at least 24 hours after you no
longer have a fever (without taking fever-reducing medication) or signs of a fever
(i.e., chills, feeling warm, flushed appearance).
Cover your cough or sneeze into your elbow or with a tissue, then immediately
discard the tissue in the trash.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. Refer to “Cleaning
Tips" and “Trusted Resources” for more information.
Flu like symptoms, NOT experiencing shortness of breath
The best thing you can do for yourself and your community is stay home. If you
are concerned about exposure to COVID-19, you can call your primary care
provider. Additionally, NYSDOH has established a COVID-19 hotline (1-888-364-
Severe illness, WITH DIFFICULTY BREATHING
Call your doctor and do not delay seeking medical care. Prior to presenting to a
healthcare provider’s office, urgent care or local emergency room, call before
you go and inform them if you have had a risk of exposure to COVID-19. If you
call 911, inform the dispatcher of your risk of exposure.
If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19:
1. Remain alert for respiratory symptoms (cough or shortness of breath) and fever.
2. If you feel feverish or develop a cough or shortness of breath:
Take your temperature.
Limit contact with others.
CALL BEFORE YOU GO. Seek health advice from your primary care
provider. Before going to a doctor’s office, urgent care or emergency room
call ahead and tell the provider or office about your possible exposure and
symptoms. If you dial 911, inform the dispatcher of your risk as well.
3. Cover your cough or sneeze into your elbow or with a tissue, then immediately
discard the tissue in the trash. Wash hands often with soap and water for at least
20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap is not available.
The CDC recommends cleaning and disinfecting the household as usual. Clean
frequently touched surfaces and objects daily (e.g., tables, countertops, light switches,
doorknobs, and cabinet handles) using a regular household detergent and water.
If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent and water prior to
disinfection. For disinfection, a list of products with Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA)-approved emerging viral pathogens claims, maintained by the American
Chemistry Council Center for Biocide Chemistries (CBC), is available at Novel
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Fighting Products or
Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products.
Outbreaks involving COVID-19 evolve quickly and recommendations from public health
officials may change as new information becomes available. Please check the following
websites often for updated information:
For the most up-to-date local information:
For more information: