Prevention and Staying Safe
Last updated May 12, 2022 - please note this is prevention guidance for the general public, certain settings (like medical or congregate settings, etc.) may have additional guidance
Layer up prevention methods!
Each of these actions reduces the risk of spreading and getting COVID-19, but none of them are 100% effective on their own. By combining these strategies, we reduce our risk and increase our chances of staying safe and healthy.
It is especially important for people who aren’t up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines or who are more vulnerable to serious illness to layer up these strategies.
Washtenaw County is currently at a "high" COVID-19 community level. At this level, it is recommended that everyone wear a mask in indoor public locations according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Indoor public locations include K-12 schools and other indoor community settings. People with symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should definitely wear a mask. Choose a multilayer surgical, KN95, or N95 mask rather than a cloth mask.
Want to pick up a free pack of KN95 masks? See how to pick them up from the Health Department here.
Masking can provide a beneficial layer of protection, and it is still recommended for individuals at higher risk of severe illness. A multilayer surgical, KN95, or N95 mask is recommended rather than a cloth mask. Anyone who lives with or has social contact with someone at high risk for severe illness should consider additional protective strategies, including masking indoors in public settings and regular testing.
We recommend everyone be prepared: make sure you have high quality masks on hand and know how to get at-home tests. If you test positive for COVID-19, speak with your healthcare provider about treatment options right away. Those who are at higher risk may also choose to purchase a pulse oximeter to monitor their oxygen levels in case they become ill with COVID-19. You may also choose to take increased precautions if you live with or are frequently around someone who is high risk.
Everyone is encouraged to use available, effective strategies to prevent and reduce the spread of illness in our community, including:
Get vaccinated and stay up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines. Getting vaccinated helps prevent you from COVID-related serious illness and reduces your risk of spreading COVID-19 to others. Make sure you get your booster dose as soon as you’re eligible.
Wear a mask
Well fitting masks can help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Wearing a mask when indoors in public settings is recommended for the general public when the local community level is high. For the best protection:
- Everyone ages 2 years and older should properly wear a well-fitting mask indoors in public in areas of high transmission, regardless of vaccination status.
- Make sure your mask fits snugly against your face. Gaps can let air with respiratory droplets leak in and out around the edges of the mask
- Pick a mask with layers to keep your respiratory droplets in and others’ out. A mask with layers will stop more respiratory droplets getting inside your mask or escaping from your mask if you are sick. Surgical, KN95, or N95 masks provide better protection than cloth masks.
- Learn more about how to mask up, mask right.
Maintain improved ventilation throughout indoor spaces when possible.
Getting tested for COVID-19 can prevent spread to others. Consider getting tested before indoor gatherings or around 5 days after an exposure to reduce risk. Avoid others and get tested if you develop COVID symptoms. If you test positive, talk to your doctor right away about treatment options to prevent severe illness.
Isolation & Quarantine Guidance
Follow public health guidance if you test positive or are exposed to COVID-19.
Evusheld is an investigational medicine that can help protect you from getting COVID-19. You may be eligible for Evusheld if you:
Evusheld contains two different antibodies that can help prevent COVID-19. It must be given by your healthcare provider before exposure to COVID-19. Talk to your healthcare provider to find out if this option is right for you. Even if you receive Evusheld, taking multiple prevention steps can provide additional layers of protection from COVID-19.
Practice Proper Hygiene
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into the inside of your elbow. Immediately wash your hands.
- Clean your hands often
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, and before eating or preparing food. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks. A list of disinfectants for use against SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease) is available from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).