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As Iowans gather with their families this Labor Day to celebrate the accomplishments of American workers, and mark the unofficial end of summer vacation, IDPH reminds all Iowans that COVID-19 is still circulating in Iowa. All Iowans should continue to take precautions to protect the health of themselves and their families. Before attending a family gathering or cookout, please take a moment to review this guidance to help you understand how the virus spreads and how to protect yourself and others. This is also a good time to review food safety guidelines to make sure uninvited germs don't crash your party.

Know how the virus spreads

* The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

* The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person:

o Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about six feet).

o Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.

* You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.

Everyone Should

* Wash your hands often

* Wash your hands often, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place or after using the restroom.

* If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. * Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mask, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid close contact

* Stay at least six feet away from people who are sick, and from people who don't live in your home.

* Keeping distance from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.

Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others

* Everyone should wear a mask in public settings, especially when social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

* The mask is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.

* Masks should not be placed on children under age 2, or anyone who has trouble breathing.

* A mask is not a substitute for social distancing. Continue to stay at least six feet from others.

Clean and disinfect

* Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

Monitor Your Health Daily

* Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.

* If symptoms develop, call your health care provider for instructions.

* If you are experiencing trouble breathing, pain in your chest, unexplained confusion or an inability to stay awake, seek medical attention immediately.

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