The most important thing you can do to prevent infection is to wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face.
To help reduce your risk of infection: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Using soap and water is the single most effective way of reducing the spread of infection. If a sink is not available, alcohol based hand rubs (ABHR) can be used to clean your hands as long as they are not visibly soiled. If they are visibly soiled, use a wipe and then ABHR to effectively clean them. Do not touch your face, eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands. Cover your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue or the crease of your elbow when you sneeze or cough. Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. Do not share food, drinks, utensils, etc.
Will wearing a mask protect me?
Masks should be used by sick people to prevent transmission to other people. A mask will help keep a person's droplets in.
It may be less effective to wear a mask in the community when a person is not sick themselves. Masks may give a person a false sense of security and are likely to increase the number of times a person will touch their own face (e.g., to adjust the mask).
Health-care workers will wear surgical masks, eye protection and gowns in order to protect themselves and other patients. During health-care procedures in which aerosol sprays may be generated (for example, when giving certain inhaled medications), health-care workers should wear specialized masks.
Protecting loved ones
Follow the same advice that public health officials recommend for the cold and flu season: wash your hands often with soap and water, cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, avoid others who are unwell, and stay home when you are sick.
The most important thing you can do to prevent coronavirus and other illnesses is to wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face.
Cover your mouth when you cough so you're not exposing other people. If you are sick yourself, stay away from others. Contact your health-care provider ahead of time so you can be safely assessed.