How does COVID-19 spread?

COVID-19 is spread similarly to other respiratory illnesses – including cold and flu. This can include:

  • airborne transmission through coughing and sneezing
  • close contact with someone who has the virus
  • touching contaminated surfaces

Who is most at risk from COVID-19?

Most people can contract or transmit the virus and have few symptoms or recover quickly. Those most at-risk for severe symptoms are:

  • Healthcare workers
  • Older adults
  • People with poor immune systems
  • People with underlying health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, or lung disease

Children and pregnant women do not appear to be at risk for severe symptoms of COVID-19.

What can I do to minimize my risk?

We recommend that you follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) everyday guidelines to prevent the spread of any respiratory illness – including COVID-19. 

Keep it clean

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. You can use a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Practice social distancing

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid large gatherings and crowds.

If you get sick

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.  
  • Wash hands often, clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
  • Wear a mask when you are around other people.

The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a face mask. They should only be used by medical personnel and people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the virus to others.