Stop the Spread

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Stop the Spread

Let’s help ourselves and each other stay safe by following the health and safety measures we know stop the spread of COVID-19. We have the power to protect ourselves, our families, businesses, neighbors, and communities from COVID-19 through our individual actions and choices. To view the current status of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania, visit the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania website.

COVID-19 Health and Safety Measures

  • If you leave your home, wear a mask.
  • Stay six feet away from others.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands.
  • Wash your hands, frequently, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces often.
  • Limit gatherings with people you don’t live with and avoid crowds.
  • Stay home if you feel sick.
  • Contact your healthcare provider if you think you might have COVID-19.
  • Answer the call when a case investigator or contact tracer is calling you.
  • Download the free exposure notification app COVID Alert PA.
  • Get a COVID-19 vaccine when you’re eligible.

Wearing Masks

Your mask protects you. And it protects me. Masks help keep us from sharing illnesses. COVID-19 spreads through the natural moisture (respiratory droplets) we breathe out when we talk, cough, or sneeze.

In Pennsylvania, you must wear a mask whenever you leave your home. You must wear a mask to go into a business. When you are outdoors, if you can’t stay six feet away from others, you must keep your mask on. And if you are indoors, you must wear a mask, even if you can stay socially distant from others who don’t live in your household.

You don’t have to wear a mask if you have a disability, medical, or mental health condition that does not allow you to do so. Children 2 years-old (or younger) don’t have to wear a mask.

There is a right way to wear a mask.

  • Wash your hands before putting on and after taking off your mask.
  • When putting on or wearing your mask, don’t touch the front of it. Be sure you can breathe through it.
  • To remove your mask, don’t touch the front. Take it off by unhooking your earpieces or untying the straps from the back. 
  • Make sure your mask covers your nose and mouth. It should not block your vision. Don’t take it off to talk, cough, or sneeze.
  • Wash fabric or cloth masks between each wear. You can wash your mask with your regular laundry. 
  • Your mask should be dry when you put it on. A wet or damp mask can make it harder to breathe and might be carrying germs.

Masking FAQs

Making or Buying Masks

If you’re not in healthcare or a first responder, a fabric or cloth mask is enough.

Making a mask is easy. The PA Department of Health’s mask guidance tells you how. Look for 100% cotton masks. Ideally, you should not be able to see through the fabric. If you aren’t making your own mask, consider buying one from a local small business.

If you are a business, the demand for masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) can make it hard to find. To help, we have a list of PPE manufacturers and suppliers that have PPE available.

Social Distancing

You can be social. But limit in-person contact.

Socializing with family and friends is important for our mental and emotional well-being. But if you don’t live together, avoid in-person gatherings. Even small group gatherings can spread the virus. If you are together in-person, stay six feet apart and wear masks.

Think about ways of staying connected that don’t require you to be in-person. Some ideas include video chats, phone calls, email, and even regular mail.

Hand Washing

Just like there is a right way to wear a mask, there is also a right way to wash your hands.

  • Wash your hands often, using soap and water.
  • Make sure you wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. Sing “Happy Birthday” twice.
  • Scrub between your fingers, your palms, backs of your hands, and under your nails.
  • Use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available.


Vaccines are safe and effective – and the best way to protect yourself and others around you.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has a four phase COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan. In each phase, new groups of Pennsylvanians can get their vaccine. Check out our COVID-19 Vaccines webpage for more information.

While vaccines are important in our fight against COVID-19, it isn’t a cure for the virus. Even after you receive your vaccine, it’s important to keep following all the other health and safety measures to continue to stop the spread.

Keep Businesses and Customers Safe

If you are an employee or a customer that has concerns of possible health and safety violations in a workplace that are related to COVID-19, you can submit a complaint to the Pennsylvania Department of Health. As Pennsylvanians, we have the power to stop the spread of the virus and do what we can to protect each other.

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