We’ve come a long way together in the seven months since Rhode Island’s first COVID-19 case. We’ve had to adapt to a lot of new rules and a whole new way of living. Despite all that’s going on, we still need to focus on getting the basics right. And that means we have to remember the 3 Ws:
1) Wear your mask: Whenever you are in contact with people outside of your household, you should be wearing a cloth face covering. Masks prevent the spread of COVID-19 through airborne particles. Your mask should be made of at least two layers of washable, breathable fabric and should cover your nose and mouth without gaps. Remember, your mask isn’t just for your protection — it keeps you from spreading COVID-19 to those around you.
2) Wash your hands: You should wash your hands often, especially before handling food or touching your face. Use warm water and soap whenever possible, thoroughly scrubbing your whole hand and nailbed for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water aren’t available, use hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol.
3) Watch your distance: Remain six feet away from people who are not your household contacts whenever physically possible. The more distance you can create between you and other people, the less likely it is that airborne particles from one person will be able to reach another.
All of these precautions are important, but none of them alone will prevent the spread of COVID-19. We need to make sure that we are doing all three all the time to minimize the risk to ourselves, our family, and our friends. I know that it can be tiring and, at times, frustrating to have to follow these steps. But they are absolutely necessary to our efforts to protect the health of Rhode Islanders and reopen our schools and businesses. For more information on the 3 Ws and the latest COVID-19 guidance, visit health.ri.gov/covid.