Recommendations for helping slow the spread of COVID-19


you control your response to COVID-19 graphic

Stay at home as much as possible

The fact that COVID-19 symptoms can range from mild to more severe is one of the very main reasons residents are asked to STAY HOME.  The more individuals limit interactions with others, the more successful the community will be at limiting the spread of the illness.

  • Stay at home as much as possible and limit trips out and about for only essential items
  • Don’t host playdates or sleepovers for your children
  • Don’t participate in group outdoor activities
  • Don’t allow your children to hang out with groups of friends while school is currently out
  • Don’t go to stores and browse just to get out of the house

Practice Social Distancing When you Must Go Out

  • Keep at least 6-feet between you and others. For many adults, that is approximately their arm span.
  • Avoid shaking hands or hugging as a social greeting.
  • It is nearly impossible in large group settings to maintain recommended social distancing. As a result, Quad City organizations are encouraged to postpone social gathering/community events of 10 or more people.
  • Consider shopping at non-peak hours and take advantage of delivery or pick-up services with retailers.
  • Follow the visitor restrictions of hospitals and nursing homes/assisted living centers.
  • If you have traveled to an area where there is known community-spread, self-isolate for 14 days when you get home (see self-isolation guidance below).
  • Stay at home if you are feeling sick.
  • If you are an older adult, or have an underlying health condition, stay home as much as you can.

Cloth Face Coverings

The CDC release updated guidance on the use of cloth face coverings.  This guidance recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other physical distancing of at least 6 feet is difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.  The use of simple cloth face coverings is intended to help slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.

Surgical masks and N-95 masks are important personal protective equipment that is needed for our health care workers and first responders.  Members of the public should not use N-95 or surgical masks in order to help preserve them for those workers that need them.

Wearing a mask in public does NOT minimize the need to practice physical distancing and handwashing.  These will still be our greatest tools for helping slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

Remember, if following the #1 recommendation to stay home as much as you can, your likelihood of catching the virus is decreased.  And your likelihood to spread the virus is decreased.

Recommendations on cloth face coverings:

Follow Self-Isolation Recommendations

For General Public

As of 3/22/2020, it is recommended that Iowans self-isolate themselves from other people and animals in the home in the following situations. Isolation should be in place for 14 days after the last exposure.

  • Traveled outside of Iowa for business or vacation in the last 14 days.

  • Taken a cruise anywhere in the world in the last 14 days.

  • Live with someone who has symptoms of COVID-19 or has tested positive for COVID-19.

Full guidance can be found here:

What does self isolation mean?

  • Stay home and do not go to school, public areas or attend gatherings.
  • Do not use public transportation, ride sharing or taxis.
  • Postpone all travel.
  • Wash your hands often and practice good hygiene.
  • Postpone all non-essential medical appointments until you have completed your 14 days of self isolation. If you have an essential medical appointment during this time, please work with your healthcare provider and local public health professionals as needed to help coordinate the visit.

For Essential Services Personnel

Essential services personnel includes the following categories:

  • Healthcare providers
  • Law enforcement
  • Fire & EMS personnel
  • Long Term Care personnel
  • Residential Support Facility personnel
  • Public Health & Emergency Management personnel

Isolation guidance for essential services personnel is a bit different.  Essential services personnel are still allowed to go to work as long as they remain asymptomatic and monitor their temperature at the beginning and end of their shift.  Learn more about guidance for this group here:

Postpone Travel

Recommendations for travel have changed and now include those who have traveled outside of Iowa for leisure or business See self isolation guidance above.

The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19.  Consider postponing non-essential travel within the United States.  If travel is necessary, monitor the spread of COVID-19 at your destination and along your route.  If COVID-19 is spreading at your destination, you may be at higher risk of exposure if you travel there, especially if you are an older adult or have underlying health conditions. Upon your return to Iowa, practice the self-isolation guidance listed above.

Visit the CDC for guidance on travel: