NEW YORK — Nearly two years after the coronavirus was first officially identified in the United States, the COVID-19 pandemic remains a concern for many Americans.

Below are some of the basic precautions you can take to stay healthy and protect yourself and others from sicknesses like COVID and the flu.

Steps you can take to stay healthy and protect others:

Tips for coronavirus prevention:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • A distance of 6 feet can protect you from droplet transmission via coughs and sneezes, according to the CDC.
  • Stay home if you feel sick.
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow, or cover your mouth and nose with a tissue. Immediately wash or sanitize your hands afterward.

COVID cleaning tips:

  • Wash your hands frequently, especially after you cough or sneeze.
  • Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol when you can’t wash your hands.
  • Clean high-tough surfaces often at home, including doorknobs, light switches, counters, tables and faucets. Don’t forget to clean your phone and tablets, too.

The right way to wash your hands:
According to the CDC, there is a right way to wash your hands. This is how it should be done, according to their hand-washing website:

  • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.