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COVID-19 Preventative Measures: What to Do If You Are Sick1

Natalie Seymour, Mary Yavelak, Candice Christian, and Ben Chapman 2

This flyer is best viewed as a PDF. It provides general guidance regarding what to do if you might be sick with COVID-19.

Figure 1. 
Figure 1. 

If you are sick with COVID-19 or suspect you are infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, follow the steps below to help prevent the disease from spreading to others.


  • If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider immediately.

  • Call ahead for medical appointments to help the office take steps to keep other people from getting exposed.


  • Restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care.

  • Restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19.

  • Wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) or pets.


  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or cough/sneeze into your elbow.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

  • Avoid sharing dishes, cups, utensils, bedding, etc. with other people or pets in your home.

For More Information


(800) 232-4636


1. This document is FSHN20-17, one of a series of the Food Science and Human Nutrition Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date March 2020. Visit the EDIS website at for the currently supported version of this publication. © NCSU. Used with permission.
2. Natalie Seymour, MS, Extension associate; Mary Yavelak, MS, Extension associate; Candice Christian, MPH, Extension associate; and Ben Chapman, professor, food safety specialist; NC State University Extension. UF Contact: Michelle Danyluk, professor, Food Science and Human Nutrition Department, UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center, Lake Alfred, FL | | (863) 956-8654.

Publication #FSHN20-17

Date: 5/19/2020

  • Critical Issue: Agricultural and Food Systems
Fact Sheet


  • Michelle Danyluk