Protect Your Household from COVID-19

COVID-19 spreads mainly through close contact with someone who is infected. Close contact means you’ve been within six feet of someone with COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more in a 24-hour period. People who are infected but do not show symptoms can also spread the virus to others. The best way to prevent illness and death is to avoid being exposed to the virus. Fewer cases of COVID-19 means fewer deaths. Follow this guidance to protect your household and lower the chances of catching and spreading COVID-19. 

  • Wear a mask and watch your distance any time you’re near people you don’t live with, indoors and outdoors.
  • Limit indoor and outdoor interactions with anyone you don’t live with.
  • Continue to take it outside.
  • Work remotely whenever possible.
  • Limit non-essential travel outside of Rhode Island.
  • Get tested every week. Sign up for a free test at
  • Get vaccinated when it’s available to you.
    • The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, highly effective against serious illness, and reduces the risk of infecting others.
    • Once you’ve gotten any COVID-19 vaccine, continue to wear your mask and watch your distance around anyone you don’t live with.
    • Learn more from our COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs.
  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19, isolate at home, call your healthcare provider, and get a COVID-19 test.
  • Stay home and apart from others if you have any symptoms, if you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or if you are in quarantine or isolation.
  • Get treatment if you are eligible.
  • Remember the three Ws!
    • Wear a mask that’s at least two layers thick and fits snugly but comfortably over your nose, mouth, and chin without any gaps.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Or carry and use hand sanitizer that’s at least 60% alcohol.
    • Watch your distance by staying at least six feet apart from people you don't live with.

Keep social gatherings small and stable

Limit social gatherings to two households for indoor gatherings and three households for outdoor gatherings. Your household is the people you live with. Your household plus the one or two other households who have agreed to socialize only with each other are your stable group.

  • Limit social contact to only your stable group, and make sure the other households you gather with do the same. Don’t go shopping, have meals, get coffee, or take part in other social activities with people outside your stable group.
  • People in your stable group commit to the same precautions to protect each other from COVID-19. Having contact with even one person outside of your stable group could expose your group to COVID-19.
  • Any time you’re near people you don’t live with, even in your stable group, wear your mask and watch your distance.
  • Set some ground rules. Have honest conversations to decide whether you and the other people in your group agree on what kinds of behaviors you will and won’t take part in.

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccine from the CDC

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