The World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus a pandemic, and the number of cases continues to rise worldwide. These basic steps can help you reduce your risk of getting sick or infecting others.

Signs and symptoms of COVID-19 may appear two to 14 days after exposure and can include:

•Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing


Risk factors for COVID-19 appear to include:

•Recent travel from or residence in an area with ongoing community spread of COVID-19 as determined by CDC or WHO
•Close contact with someone who has COVID-19 — such as when a family member or health care worker takes care of an infected person


•Avoid large events and mass gatherings.

•Avoid close contact (about 6 feet) with anyone who is sick or has symptoms.

•Keep distance between yourself and others if COVID-19 is spreading in your community, especially if you have a higher risk of serious illness.

•Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

•Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw away the used tissue.

•Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth if your hands aren't clean.

•Avoid sharing dishes, glasses, bedding and other household items if you're sick.

•Clean and disinfect surfaces you often touch on a daily basis.