COVID-19 How-to


  • The CDC recommends that everybody above the age of 2 wears a mask. If the child keeps touching the mask, do not force them to wear it and let them remove it. (Source)
    • Explain clearly why they need to wear the mask. Model wearing the mask yourself to normalize it. (Source)
  • Clean toys regularly. Plastic toys can be wiped down and cloth toys can go into the laundry. Some items can only be cleaned on the surface. (Source)
  • Find childcare in Allegheny County with this website.



  • Stay home if you are sick, even if your symptoms are minor or unrelated to coronavirus.
    • Limiting exposure to any diseases is good because it keeps public immunity up and medical facilities uncrowded.
    • Cough or sneeze into tissues or the crook of your elbow, not your hands. Throw away any used tissues as soon as possible.
  • If you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, such as coughing, fever, or difficulty breathing, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
    • Call your doctor, medical clinic, or 911. Do not visit unannounced. Explain your conditions and recent history as clearly as possible so the medical facility can take proper precautions.
    • COVID-19 can only be positively identified through a laboratory test because its symptoms are similar to a bad cold or the flu. Pennsylvania currently has 1 testing laboratory available.
  • If you or someone you care for tests positive for COVID-19, self-quarantine until medical personnel clear you for the disease. (Source)
    • Stay home. Do not leave home unless you are going to a pre-arranged medical appointment.
    • Separate the infected person from other people, pets, and shared items as much as possible. Use separate bedrooms and bathrooms if possible.
    • Clean all shared and frequently-touched items. Clean any items with bodily fluids on them. Use either soap and water or standard household cleaners.
    • Wear a face mask or tell the infected person to wear a face mask if the infected person is sharing a room with anybody, including pets.


  • Maintain your hygiene by bathing regularly and washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. (Source)
    • Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Clean frequently touched objects and surfaces with household sprays and wipes. Follow normal food safety rules, such as rinsing fruits and vegetables and keeping meats separate from other ingredients.
    • Wash your clothes like your normally do unless you have been exposed to a sick person. Use bleach in your wash if necessary.
  • Keep food uninfected by washing your hands often, separating meat products from other groceries, cooking ingredients to the correct temperature, and refrigerating/freezing products promptly. (Source)
  • Disinfect your phone using 70% rubbing alcohol or alcohol wipes. (Source)


  • Stay 6 feet away from people who are coughing, spitting, or sneezing. Avoid touching your face, eyes, or mouth.
  • Pay using no-contact methods such as debit card, credit card, Apple Pay, and Google Pay.
  • Look into establishing a “pod” of trusted friends and family members to be around without sacrificing safety. (Source)
  • If it’s windy, stay more than 6 feet away from other people if possible. (Source)

Stay Informed

  • Evaluate news posts before sharing them using the SIFT method: Stop. Investigate the source. Find better coverage. Trace claims, quotes, and media to the original context. (Source)


  • Pay attention to any travel advisories or event cancellations and avoid nonessential trips.
  • Stay home for 14 days if you have traveled out of the United States.


  • Submit your mail-in ballot.
  • If you have a disability and have applied for an absentee or mail-in ballot but have not yet voted, email to receive an accessible ballot. (Source)
  • The number of in-person polling stations has been dramatically reduced for the June election to limit exposure to COVID-19.

Wear a mask

  • If you need to wear a mask, make sure it completely covers your nose and mouth. Take your time putting on the mask so it fits well but isn’t uncomfortable.
  • Do not touch the mask until you remove it. Remove it by touching the straps, not by pulling the front of the mask.
  • Choose a breathable fabric like cotton to maintain airflow and prevent exhalations from bursting out the sides of the mask. Do not cut holes in the mask.
  • Use straps that keep the mask securely against your face but don’t irritate the skin. Try ear savers or ties instead of elastic around the ears if irritation is a problem.
  • Prevent your glasses from fogging up by securing the mask as closely to your face as possible with tape or pipe cleaners. Use an anti-fogging product if necessary. (Source)
  • Limit the amount of time outside during hot weather or exercising so you don’t overheat or are tempted to remove the mask prematurely. (Source)
  • A multi-layered mask is more effective at keeping out particles than a single-layered mask.
  • Wearing a layer of nylon stocking over the mask may increase its effectiveness. (Source)

Last update: 5/29/20

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