How can I help protect myself?
Visit the CDC's Prevention and Treatment page to learn about how to protect yourself from respiratory illnesses, like COVID-19. As with any respiratory virus, you can protect yourself and others by taking every day preventative actions:
- Know how it spreads; COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Call before you get medical care. Be sure to get care if you have trouble breathing, or have any other emergency warning signs, or if you think it is an emergency.
- Avoid close contact with people; especially those who are sick. Put 6 feet of distance between yourself and people who don’t live in your household.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others even if you do not feel sick.
- Monitor your health daily; stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
What should I do if I had close contact with someone who has COVID-19?
Stay home if you might have been exposed to COVID-19. Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms. People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others and monitor their health for 14 days following last exposure.
What counts as close contact?
- Anyone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.
- You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19
- You had direct physical contact with the person (touched, hugged or kissed them)
- You shared eating or drinking utensils
- They sneezed, coughed or somehow got respiratory droplets on you
If you are a close contact of someone with COVID-19 or you develop symptoms of COVID-19, call your healthcare provider and tell them about your symptoms and your exposure.
Isolation is used to separate people infected with the virus from people who are not infected. People who are in isolation should stay home until it’s safe for them to be around others. When you can be around others (end home isolation) depends on different factors for different situations. Find CDC’s recommendations for your situation.
When to start and end quarantine
CDC recommends individuals should stay home for 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19. Even if you test negative for COVID-19 or feel healthy, you should stay home (quarantine) since symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. See CDC scenarios to determine when you can end quarantine and be around others. Depending on your situation, there are options to reduce quarantine.
Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19
CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure. Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance. The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance. The goal is to prevent positive asymptomatic COVID-19 individuals from spreading the virus if they were to sneeze, cough or touch their face. Wearing the covering does not take the place of social distancing and hand washing.
- Use of Cloth Face Coverings English | Spanish
- How to Wear Face Mask Correctly English | Spanish
- DIY No Sew Cloth Face Covering Tutorial
- What's Your Risk of Infection? Infographic
Agree to the Three Campaign
Understanding that there is some growing fatigue around the public response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tulsa Health Department (THD) has released an advertising campaign focused on reinforcing the three recommended enhanced hygiene practices.
Agree to the Three W’s campaign, encourages Tulsa County residents to continue to: Wear a Mask. Wash Your Hands. Watch Your Distance. There are strong indications that following the Three W’s is effective in slowing the spread of the virus.
While serious in nature, this campaign takes a more light-hearted approach to the situation, reminding residents that, unfortunately, due to the asymptomatic reaction in some people, danger can be hiding in plain sight. Exposure to COVID-19 can happen even in an environment where people feel they are safe.
The Agree to the Three W’s campaign was developed in collaboration with local firms: Signal Factory, Bear Agency Group and Scoutly. THD has partnered with the City of Tulsa and Tulsa County on the prevention campaign, which was made possible through Tulsa County CARES Act funding.