Protect Yourself & Others

Protect Yourself & Others

family wearing masks while grocery shopping

Vaccines are the best tool we have to protect ourselves against COVID-19, especially from severe illness, hospitalization and death. 

Unvaccinated people are at a much higher risk of getting and spreading the virus. We strongly encourage everyone who is eligible to protect themselves by getting vaccinated as soon as possible, and get their booster shot for added protection when eligible. Find out where you can get your shot

Cases of COVID-19 in Vermont remain high, in large part because of more contagious variants that are circulating. This means everyone should follow these basic prevention steps:

  • Get vaccinated (anyone age 5 or older).
  • Get your booster shot (age 12 or older).
  • Stay home if you feel sick.
  • Get tested if you have any symptoms, may be a close contact, or have taken part in activities that could put you at risk, such as large gatherings or travel.
  • Wear a mask in indoor public settings.
  • Take care when getting together.
  • Wash your hands regularly.
  • Get your flu shot.

Check the Know the Risks chart to help you decide how much risk to take when doing everyday activities.

Prevention steps help protect people most at risk

Following the prevention steps is even more important if:

  • you have a weakened immune system or are around someone who does.
  • you will be getting together with older adults or those with significant underlying medical conditions that put them at high risk for serious illness from COVID-19.
  • you have children who can’t yet be vaccinated.
  • you're traveling or have recently returned from travel at a time when transmission is high.

Wearing a mask

The Health Department recommends wearing a high-quality mask to help limit the spread of COVID-19, including variants like Omicron. Examples of high-quality masks are N95 or KN95 masks, which are very good at blocking droplets. If you cannot get that type of mask, wear a well-fitting mask with at least two layers of tightly-woven fabric. You can also layer a disposable mask under a cloth mask to increase effectiveness.

Wearing a mask helps protect you and the people around you from getting or spreading COVID-19. A mask helps contain your respiratory droplets and can keep them from reaching other people. COVID-19 can spread even if a person does not have any symptoms. This is how we reduce spread of the virus and outbreaks in our communities, schools and businesses.

Infographic: What Mask Should I Wear? En español: ¿Qué mascarilla debo usar? Infografía - Public Health Collaborative

Read the CDC Guide to Masks

Keep gatherings safe

Vermont data shows COVID-19 is often spreading when people get together with friends and family, dinners, parties or other social activities and events. It’s important to think about how to gather safely right now. This can reduce the potential for further spread of the virus, especially to those at higher risk of COVID-19. Here are some ways to keep gatherings safer:

  • Stay outdoors when you can.
  • Keep groups small.
  • If you’re indoors, wear a mask in public settings or around people who may be at higher risk.
  • Avoid crowded spaces.
  • If you have symptoms, even mild ones, stay home. 
  • Consider getting tested before and after an event, especially if it includes older adults or those with significant underlying medical conditions that put them at high risk for serious illness from COVID-19.

How to Protect Yourself from covid-19 in नेपाली (Nepali), Soomaali (Somali)   

The Vermont Language Justice Project videos

Wearing a mask and taking care of it:
العربية | မြန်မာစာ | Français | Kirundi | नेपाली | Soomaali | Español | Swahili | Tiếng Việt

In This Section

Find out about who may be at more risk for severe illness, or more vulnerable to getting sick. Learn about precautions.

Navigating the new norms or rules in our professional and personal lives can be challenging, and our responses to it are varied.