COVID-19 is a respiratory illness. Symptoms of COVID-19 may include:
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat
- Muscle aches
- Runny nose
- Joint aches
Physical distancing is an important measure we must take to reduce the spread of COVID-19. This means: stay home. Do not go out unless you have to, such as to get groceries once per week.
If you must go out (e.g. for your weekly grocery haul), keep a six-foot distance from others. That’s about the maximum distance that droplets from a person’s cough or sneeze can travel, which is one of the ways the virus is spread.
If you are ill (even with mild symptoms) it is especially important that you stay home to prevent the risk of spreading your illness to others. Ask someone to purchase groceries for you, or use a delivery service.
Other ways that we can prevent the spread of COVID-19:
- Hand washing: Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer to help prevent exposure to, and transmission of, illness.
- Practising proper cough and sneeze etiquette: By coughing/sneezing into a tissue, or into your sleeve or arm (and immediately washing your hands afterwards)
- Not touching your face: A virus’s port of entry is your eyes, nose, mouth
- Cleaning your hands before eating/drinking
- Cleaning frequently touched objects and surfaces: Like bathroom sinks, kitchen counters, etc.
Research shows that the COVID-19 virus is spread through close contact with an infected person.
This close contact can occur in two ways: droplet and contact.
Droplets means respiratory droplets produced by an infected person’s sneeze or cough. These can travel up to 6 feet (1.8 metres). A person becomes infected when droplets from a cough or sneeze directly enter the body through the eyes, mouth or nose.
Contact means touching a person or object directly, such as door handles, that have droplets on them from an infected person’s cough or sneeze. Unwashed hands contaminated with COVID-19 can introduce the virus to your body when you touch your eyes, mouth or nose.
Washing your hands often and avoiding touching your face are two very important ways to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.