Prevention & Good Hygiene during COVID-19

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During the COVID-19 event, it is important to ensure good personal hygiene to prevent spread.

How is it Spread?

Through coughing and sneezing

Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands

Touching your mouth, nose or eyes with unwashed hands

For current information about local cases, see Sonoma County Cases at a Glance »


There is no vaccine or cure for COVID-19 at this time.

Staying at home is the most effective way to stay healthy.  If you must leave the house, stay 6 feet away from others.  The County Health Officer now requires that everyone wear a facial covering when away from home in a grocery store, pharmacy,  medical office or any other indoor setting. See Health Officer Order re: Face Coverings »

The County encourages everyone to practice good hygiene and make them everyday habits. This will help reduce the risk of becoming infected and prevent the spread of several viruses, including influenza or COVID-19.

Tips to Help Stop the Spread

  • Physical Distancing is the most effective way to prevent the spread.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sleeve. Then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Keep your hands clean.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; when hands are visibly dirty; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and frequently touched objects (such as your cell phone) using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Get your flu shot to protect against flu if you have not done so this year.
    • Fewer people getting ill frees up medical resources
    • Avoiding the flu will help keep your immune system healthy
  • Wear a face covering whenever you leave home for an essential activity – See Health Officer Facial Covering Order.
    • People without symptoms may be infected for 48 hours before they feel sick.
      • Wearing a face covering helps make sure you are not unknowingly infecting others.
      • This covering may be a fabric mask, scarf, bandana, T-shirt, sweatshirt or towel.
      • Facial coverings should be multiple layers, and fit snugly.
      • Homemade face coverings can be made of a variety of materials, such as cotton, silk or linen.
      • For more information, see these Do-it-yourself Cloth Face Covering Sewing Instructions.
    • For more information on how to sew your own face covering, see
    • Surgical masks, unexpired N95 masks and other essential protective equipment is not recommended for everyday use. Hospital-grade medical masks such as N-95 or surgical masks purchase should be for health care workers in clinical settings and first responders.
  • Follow safe practices when food shopping and unpacking groceries, see Safely Shop for Food and Unpack Groceries »

Stay Safe in Your Carpool

Before Getting into Vehicle

  • If you feel sick, stay at home
  • Wash or sanitize your hands
  • Wear a face covering

While in the Vehicle

  • Open the windows
  • Always wear a face covering
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth

While at Work

  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Always stay 6 feet away from others
  • Wear a face covering
  • Don’t share food or drink

Animal-Human COVID Transmission

Recently, a tiger at the Bronx, New York zoo tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. People are beginning to ask if they can catch the virus from a sick pet or if they can make their pet sick.  There is no evidence that household and farm animals can pass along COVID-19 to their caretakers. However, public health professionals suspect that the Bronx tiger may have caught the disease from an infected zookeeper.

As we learn more, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) advise people to take the following precautions:

  1. Wash hands before and after interacting with animals.
  2. Keep animal feed, water, related supplies and bedding clean.
  3. People who suspect or know that they have the COVID-19 virus should avoid close contact with pets, livestock and service animals as much as possible.
  4. If contact cannot be avoided, wear a face covering and wash hands before and after interactions.

Resources for pet and service-animal owners and farmers: