The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).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.
Can someone spread the virus without being sick?
People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
Spread from contact with infected surfaces or objects
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
How easily does coronavirus spread?
The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some affected geographic areas.
How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily.
Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, spreading continually without stopping.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
Clean your hands oftenWash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.For information specific to healthcare, see CDC’s Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings.
Avoid close contactAvoid close contact with people who are sickPut distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
Stay home if you're sickStay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. Learnwhat to do if you are sick.
Cover coughs and sneezesCover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.Throw used tissues in the trash.Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Clean and disinfectClean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.