Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) 

Important Information About How COVID-19 Spreads

  • The virus is thought to spread mainly from person to person.
    1. Between people who are in close contact with one another (within 6 feet). 2. Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. 3. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
  • It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.
  • People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
  • Spread before people show symptoms may be possible.

General Infection Prevention Strategies

Infection prevention strategies should be used to reduce transmission of common respiratory viruses (e.g., influenza or “flu” or “the common cold”).

  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (in the absence of a tissue, cough or sneeze into your shirt sleeve or bent arm).
  • Keep your hands clean (wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds). Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Get the flu shot (at this time, there is no current vaccination for coronaviruses).

The routine use of these infection prevention strategies cannot be overemphasized, especially washing your hands often with soap and water. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are also effective.


More information:

NYS Department of Health Novel Coronavirus hotline: 1-888-364-3065.

New York State Department of Health’s COVID-19 Webpage:

Local Health Department Contact Information:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Webpage:


NYS DOH. (March 16, 2020). Excerpt from “Interim Guidance for Home Care Services Regarding COVID-19”