COVID-19 (Coronavirus): Top 10 Tips From Your Family Doctor

Last Updated October 2021 | This article was created by editorial staff and reviewed by Deepak S. Patel, MD, FAAFP, FACSM


What we know about COVID-19 continues to change.  But there are important things we can do to protect ourselves and those around us.

  1. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water aren’t available, use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
  2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  3. If you aren’t feeling well, stay home. This includes visiting the doctor’s office. Call your doctor’s office first to share your symptoms and ask if you should come in.
  4. Cough or sneeze into your elbow or use a tissue and throw it in the trash. Then, immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  5. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  6. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. There are times people mistake COVID-19 symptoms for cold and allergy symptoms, like a runny nose or headache.
  7. Follow public health advice on attending school, avoiding crowds, and other physical distancing measures to limit spread of COVID-19.
  8. Follow your local health department guidance on masks. When wearing a mask, make sure it covers your mouth and nose. Masks do help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  9. Misinformation about COVID-19 and the COVID-19 vaccine has caused confusion during the pandemic. If you have concerns about COVID-19, read Know the Facts About Coronavirus (COVID-19). If you have concerns about the vaccine, read Debunking Common COVID-19 Vaccine Myths, or talk to your family doctor.
  10. Get your flu shot, if you haven’t already. Flu season is active in the fall and winter. You can get the flu and COVID-19 at the same time.