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How can I protect myself and others from COVID-19?
Our first responders and health care workers are saving lives every day -- so can you.
Your family, your friends, your neighbors -- their lives are literally in your hands.
Here's how you can do your part to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your community:
- Get Vaccinated - Everyone 6 months or older is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine in New Jersey and encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as possible. COVID-19 vaccines are safe and highly effective at preventing you from getting sick. They are one of the most important tools to ending the COVID-19 pandemic and getting back to what you love. Appointments and walk-in vaccinations are available near you. Learn more.
- Everyone 6 months or older is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine in New Jersey and encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Learn more. Adults ages 65 years and older and people who are immunocompromised may receive an additional updated, bivalent vaccine dose. Individuals ages 6 years and older who have already received a bivalent booster dose do not need to take any action unless they are 65 years or older or immunocompromised. For young children, multiple doses continue to be recommended and will vary by age, vaccine, and which vaccines were previously received.
- Get Tested – Testing is available to everyone in New Jersey. It's especially important to get tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms, you have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, you are in high-risk settings where screening testing is implemented, you plan to be in contact with someone at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19, or if you have plans to travel. Find a testing location near you.
- Wear a mask whenever you have symptoms of COVID-19, tested positive, were recently exposed to someone with COVID-19, or live in a county with elevated or "high" COVID community levels.
- Avoid poorly ventilated spaces and crowds. Open windows and doors to bring in fresh air and avoid crowded places.
- Stay home if you are sick - Look out for COVID-19 symptoms like fever, cough, shortness of breath
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. For more, see the CDC's guidelines on how to properly clean and disinfect.
- Answer The Phone When A Contact Tracer Calls – You've been called because you either tested positive for COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone who has – so it's critical you answer the phone. Contact tracers are calling with life-saving information that will keep you, your loved ones, and your community safe and healthy. Learn how contact tracing saves lives at covid19.nj.gov/testandtrace
For more tips on how to protect yourself and your loved ones, visit the CDC's website.
Know How COVID-19 Spreads
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.
Safety Tips For Gatherings
To avoid putting your loved ones at risk, the CDC and the NJ Department of Health has offered safety tips for in-person gatherings:
- Build your personal COVID-19 plan.
- Get vaccinated against the flu and COVID-19. They can safely be taken at the same time.
- Already vaccinated? Get a COVID-19 booster.
- Gather outdoors, when possible, or in places with good ventilation
- Consider wearing a mask in crowds or other high risk settings or if you are at high-risk and COVID-19 community levels are medium. You should wear a mask if you have COVID-19 symptoms, a positive test, exposure to someone with COVID-19, or are in a county with elevated or "high" COVID community levels.
- Get tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms or are a close contact.
- Take everyday precautions like handwashing and covering coughs and sneezes.
- Stay home if you think you are sick.
- Consider testing before visiting others, especially those at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Visit covid19.nj.gov/testing to find a testing location near you.
- Delay travel until you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines.
- If traveling, visit the CDC's travel page for safety tips and guidance.
When Hosting a Gathering
- Make hand sanitizer available for guests.
- Consider opening a window or keeping your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system turned on to improve air flow.
- Make single-use hand towels for hand-drying available to avoid sharing a towel.