Preventive measures

In this lesson, the student will learn and later identify the preventive measures


Although most people with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms, the disease can cause severe medical complications and lead to death in some people. Older adults or people with existing medical conditions are at greater risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19.

Complications can include:

  • Pneumonia and trouble breathing
  • Organ failure in several organs
  • Heart problems

A severe lung condition that causes a low amount of oxygen to go through your bloodstream to your organs (acute respiratory distress syndrome)

  • Blood clots
  • Acute kidney injury
  • Additional viral and bacterial infections


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given emergency use authorization to some COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S. A vaccine can prevent you from getting the COVID-19 virus or prevent you from becoming seriously ill if you get the COVID-19 virus. Also, if you are fully vaccinated, you can return to many activities you may not have been able to do because of the pandemic — including not wearing a mask or social distancing — except where required by a rule of law. However, if you are in an area with a high number of new COVID-19 cases in the last week, the CDC recommends wearing a mask indoors in public. If you are fully vaccinated and have a condition or are taking medications that weaken your immune system, you may need to keep wearing a mask. Further, recommendations that are included in the CDC’s interim infection prevention and control for the patients suspected of Coronavirus include that asymptomatic healthcare providers with exposure to COVID-19 may not continue to work to avoid potential exposures.

If you haven’t had the COVID-19 vaccine, you can take many steps to reduce your risk of infection. WHO and CDC recommend following these precautions for avoiding exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19:

  1. Avoid close contact (within about 6 feet, or 2 meters) with anyone who is sick or has symptoms.
  2. Keep distance between yourself and others (within about 6 feet, or 2 meters). This is especially important if you have a higher risk of serious illness. Keep in mind some people may have COVID-19 and spread it to others, even if they don’t have symptoms or don’t know they have COVID-19.
  3. Avoid crowds and indoor places that have poor ventilation.
  4. To avoid further spread, for any patient diagnosed with COVID-19, the nurse should ask about both signs and symptoms as well as travel
  5. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  6. Never wash and then reuse an N95 mask
  7. Wear a face mask in indoor public spaces and outdoors where there is a high risk of COVID-19 transmissions, such as at a crowded event or large gathering. Further mask guidance differs depending on whether you are fully vaccinated or unvaccinated. Surgical masks may be used if available. N95 respirators should be reserved for health care providers.
  8. Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw away the used tissue. Wash your hands right away.
  9. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  10. If a person enters an acute care facility and complains of respiratory symptoms and fever, staff should: Immediately give the patient a mask to put on, place the patient in an isolation room, and if no room is available, have the patient sit in an area where he is at least six feet away from others
  11. Allow alcohol-based hand sanitizer is in each room and just outside the door
  12. Avoid sharing pens, paper, or other desktop items when at work
  13. At work, make sure all staff are competent in the use of PPE
  14. Avoid sharing dishes, glasses, towels, bedding, and other household items if you’re sick.
  15. Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces, such as doorknobs, light switches, electronics, and counters, daily.
  16. Stay home from work, school, and public areas if you’re sick unless you’re going to get medical care. Avoid public transportation, taxis, and ride-sharing if you’re sick.
  17. If you have a chronic medical condition and may have a higher risk of serious illness, check with your doctor about other ways to protect yourself.
  18. Individuals who work in more than one long-term care facility (such as wound care specialists) pose a greater risk to residents than those staff members who only work in one facility. Avoid putting more risks in any of the workplaces.
  19. When infection occurs, use NEGATIVE pressure to reduce the spread of infection
  20. Residents in long-term care facilities who have confirmed COVID-19 may, if needed, be cohosted in the same room who have a similar case.