Slow the Spread

Public health is everyone’s responsibility.

Learn more from the Florida Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Each of us has an important part to play in slowing the spread of COVID-19 in Florida, and the actions we make today can prevent future cases. Our daily choices could determine whether we pass illness along to others or whether we or our loved ones get sick. Masks protect others and not ourselves.

Older individuals or those with underlying conditions, such as asthma, chronic lung disease, diabetes, heart disease, cancer or compromised immune systems are more susceptible to serious complications from COVID-19. We might fall into those categories or may have a parent, grandparent, friend or loved one who does. Simply wearing a face covering could save a trip to a health care professional’s office or the hospital, or even a life.

Wash your hands for 20 seconds. Wash them often, such as:

  • After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • After using the restroom.
  • After leaving a public area, such as the grocery store.
  • Before eating or preparing food.
  • Before and after touching people.

If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.

Wear a face covering in public. The CDC recommends people older than age two with some exceptions wear a cloth face covering in public settings and when around people outside their household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. COVID-19 can be spread by people without symptoms who are unaware they are infected.

  • Wear your face covering properly. Your face covering should fit snugly and comfortably over your nose and mouth, allow you to breathe with ease and discarded when soiled or laundered before reuse.
  • Wash your reusable face covering after each use.

Practice social distancing. Think carefully about where you go and who you come into close contact with. Remember that the larger the group you are exposed to, the higher the risk.

  • Avoid crowds and large gatherings, especially those with poor ventilation.
  • Do not shake hands with people.
  • Keep at least six feet between you and other people.
  • Avoid public transit.
  • Stay away from people who may be sick.
  • Shop during off hours, such as later on weeknights or earlier on weekends.
  • Avoid touching “high touch” surfaces, such as tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, elevator buttons, handrails, etc.
  • Learn if family or friends have been sick in the past two weeks before they visit. If so, reschedule at least two weeks out.

If you have questions regarding how to stay safe or how to support public health measures, please contact your primary care physician or local hospital.

Donate convalescent plasma. People who have recovered from the coronavirus have infection-fighting antibodies in their blood, referred to as “convalescent plasma,” and convalescent plasma therapy has emerged as a promising experimental treatment for patients who are fighting the disease. While no FDA-approved medication is available at this time specifically for treating COVID-19, medical researchers are hopeful about convalescent plasma therapy’s potential to strengthen infected patients’ virus-fighting capabilities and to keep moderate cases from worsening. Florida-based blood bank OneBlood is now reporting a 500 percent increase in demand from hospitals for convalescent plasma. Visit the American Red Cross or OneBlood to learn more about eligibility and how to donate plasma. Please consider plasma donation as a way to help more vulnerable Floridians win the fight of their lives.