Reduce exposures to COVID-19 and slow the spread of the disease | Coronavirus

Get Your Household Ready for Coronavirus

Get Your Household Ready for Coronavirus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages everyone to prepare for the possibility of a COVID-19 outbreak in their community. As a family, you can plan and make decisions that will protect you and your loved ones. The following recommendations from the CDC will help your family create a household action plan. 

Stay informed and in touch

Local public health officials may make recommendations appropriate to your local situation. 
senior man and woman in maskss on couch lookingn at phone screen

  • Get up-to-date information about local COVID-19 activity from public health officials.
  • Create a list of local organizations you and your household can contact in case you need access to information, health care services, support and resources.
  • Create an emergency contact list including family, friends, neighbors, carpool drivers, health care providers, teachers, employers, the local public health department and other community resources.

Prepare for possible illness

  • Consider any elevated risks posed to those at higher risk, particularly older adults and those of any age who have severe underlying health conditions. 
  • Take additional precautions for high-risk members of your household. Make sure you have access to several weeks of medications and supplies in case you need to stay home. Stay at home if possible. 
  • Choose a room in your house that can be used to separate sick household members from others.

Take everyday preventative actions
senior man and woman in masks outside

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay at least six feet (about two arms’ length) from other people.
  • 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 such as tables, countertops, light switches, doorknobs, and cabinet handles. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products.
  • Wear a cloth face cover when you go out in public. 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.
  • Treat pets in the household as you would other family members. Do not let pets interact with people outside the household.

In addition to getting your household ready, it’s helpful to have an action plan for a potential impact to school, child care and your workplace.

Be prepared if your child’s school or child care facility is temporarily dismissed.

During a COVID-19 outbreak in your community, local public health officials may recommend school closings to help slow the spread of illness. School authorities also may decide to dismiss a school if too many students or staff are absent. Understand the plan for continuing education and social services (such as student meal programs) during school dismissals. If your child attends a college or university, learn about the school’s plan for a COVID-19 outbreak.

Plan for potential changes at your workplace

Learn about your employer’s emergency operations plan. Discuss sick-leave policies and telework options for workers who are sick or who need to stay home to care for sick household members. 

For more information

If you would like additional information on how to protect yourself and others, check out the following resources from the CDC:

The information on this site is not intended to replace medical advice from your health care provider. Please contact your health care provider for specific information concerning your personal medical situation and individual health care needs.