Protect Yourself & Others: COVID-19 - Minnesota Dept. of Health

Protect Yourself & Others: COVID-19

On this page:
Slow the spread
When and how to wear a mask
Other resources

Slow the spread


Hands and face

    • Wash your hands often, with soap and water. Wash for at least 20 seconds.
    • Always wash your hands after being in a public place.
    • Always wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol.
    • Use hand sanitizers on the hands only. Never use them on larger body surfaces, and never swallow or breathe them in.
    • Do not make hand sanitizers into something you can spray into the air. This is dangerous to your health and can catch fire.
    • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue. Throw used tissues in the trash.

When and how to wear a mask

CDC recommends that you wear a cloth mask over your nose and mouth in grocery stores and all other public places where it is hard to stay 6 feet away from others. Read federal guidance for the use of cloth face coverings to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

  • When you wear a cloth mask in public, remember:
    • Masks can help to stop your germs from infecting others. This is extra important if people without symptoms can spread the virus that causes COVID-19 disease.
    • Wearing a mask does not protect you from others who may spread the virus. You will still need to wash your hands often, cover your cough, and stay 6 feet away from others.
    • Wearing a mask does not mean people who are sick should be in public places. Stay home if you are sick.
    • If you need to see a doctor, call your clinic first. Do not just go to the clinic. Wear a mask when you do go to the clinic.
    • Do not buy or wear surgical or N95 masks. Health care workers need them so that they are protected when helping sick patients.
    • Do not put facemasks or face covers on children under age 2.
    • Do not put facemasks or face covers on anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, or unable to remove the mask without help.

Best Practices for Masks: Considerations for People with Disabilities and Special Health Needs (PDF)


  • Keep your house very clean to stay healthy. This can help stop infections from spreading.
  • Clean and disinfect things that people touch a lot: counters and other surfaces; telephones, remote controls and other devices; doorknobs, stairway railings and other objects.
  • Always follow instructions on household cleaners. Do not drink, breathe in, or inject household cleaners. This can hurt or kill you. Call poison control or a doctor immediately if you drink a cleaning product.
  • Do not use disinfectant sprays or wipes on your skin or on pets. This can hurt your skin and your pets.

Other resources

Updated Thursday, 25-Jun-2020 15:48:12 CDT