1. Wash your hands with soap and water to minimize your infection risk. The best way to prevent coronavirus is to wash your hands as often as possible. Wet your hands with warm water, then apply a mild soap. Work the soap into a lather for 20-30 seconds, then rinse your hands clean under warm running water. This is about how long it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song to yourself twice.
- The World Health Organization recommends not just rubbing your hands palm to palm, but interlacing and interlocking your fingers in a variety of different ways to make sure every surface is clean. Use the paper towel you dry your hands off with to turn off the faucet. 
- Always wash your hands before you eat or drink anything. However, it’s also best to wash your hands anytime you’re out in public or after you’re around someone you suspect may be sick.
- If you can’t wash your hands, use a hand sanitizer that contains 60-95% alcohol. Alcohol percentages higher than 95% are actually less effective.
2. Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth. You may come into contact with the coronavirus on a surface, like a doorknob or countertop. When this happens, the germs can linger on your hands, so you can easily infect yourself if you touch your face with dirty hands. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth in case the virus is on your skin.
- If you need to touch your face, wash your hands first so you’re less likely to infect yourself.
3. Stay away from people who are coughing or sneezing. Since coronavirus is a respiratory infection, coughing and sneezing are common symptoms. Additionally, coughing and sneezing both release the virus into the air, so they may increase your risk of infection. Keep your distance from people who appear to have symptoms of an upper respiratory infection.
- If it’s appropriate, ask the person to stay away from you. You could say, “I noticed you were coughing. I hope you feel better soon, but please keep your distance so I don’t get sick.”
- If you know someone has been around sick people, it’s a good idea to distance yourself from them, too.
4. Don’t shake hands with people, whether they show symptoms or not.Unfortunately, people who are infected with coronavirus may spread the illness even if they aren’t showing symptoms. To protect yourself, limit your contact with others just in case. Kindly decline to shake hands until the coronavirus threat is over.
- You might say, “I’m happy to meet you! Normally I’d shake your hand, but the CDC recommends limiting personal contact right now to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.”