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Prevention Guidelines

The Tarrant County Health Department recommends taking the following precautions to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Stay home if you're sick except to get medical care

  • Restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care.
  • Do not go to work, school, or public areas.
  • Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.

Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home

People

As much as possible, you should stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available.

Animals

You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with coronavirus (COVID-19), just like you would around other people.

Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with coronavirus (COVID-19), it is still recommended that people sick with coronavirus (COVID-19) limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus.

If you are sick with coronavirus (COVID-19), avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food.

When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick.

If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a facemask. See COVID-19 and Animals for more information.

Call ahead before visiting your doctor

  • If you have a medical appointment, call the healthcare provider and tell them that you have or may have coronavirus (COVID-19). This will help the healthcare provider's office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.

Wear a facemask

  • You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) or pets and before you enter a healthcare provider's office.
  • If you are not able to wear a facemask (e.g., because it causes trouble breathing), then people who live with you should not stay in the same room with you, or they should wear a facemask if they enter your room.

Cover your coughs and sneezes

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Throw used tissues in a lined trash can, and immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60 to 95% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.
  • Use soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.

Clean your hands often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60 to 95% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.
  • Use soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid sharing personal household items

  • Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home.
  • After using these items, wash them thoroughly with soap and water.

Clean all "high-touch" surfaces every day

  • High touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables.
  • Clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them.
  • Use a household cleaning spray or wipes according to the label instructions. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of cleaning products, including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.

Monitor your symptoms

  • Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening (e.g., difficulty breathing). 
  • To help the healthcare provider's office to keep other people in the office or waiting room from getting infected or exposed:
    • Before seeking care, call your healthcare provider and tell them that you have, or are being evaluated for, coronavirus (COVID-19).
    • Put on a facemask before you enter the facility.
  • Ask your healthcare provider to call the local or state health department.
  • If you are placed under active monitoring or facilitated self-monitoring, you should follow instructions provided by their local health department or occupational health professionals, as appropriate.
  • If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel that you have, or are being evaluated for coronavirus (COVID-19). If possible, put on a facemask before emergency medical services arrive.

Isolate yourself at home

  • If you have a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19), you should remain under home isolation precautions until the risk of secondary transmission to others is thought to be low.
  • The decision to discontinue home isolation precautions should be made on a case-by-case basis, in consultation with healthcare providers and state and local health departments.

Updated March 23, 2020