Cooler temperatures and more time indoors mean the risk for getting sick goes up.  Prevention is key. Try these simple ways to protect yourself:

Avoid people who are sick. Viruses, like influenza and coronavirus, are spread through personal contact. When infected people talk, sneeze or cough, they unknowingly spray tiny droplets into the air. You can get sick for days or weeks if you inhale those droplets.

Clean often-used surfaces in your home. Regularly sanitize countertops, faucets and door handles with disinfectant.

Keep your hands away from your face. If you touch a contaminated surface, such as a doorknob or an infected person’s hand, and then touch your mouth, nose or eyes, you could get sick.

Wash your hands often with soap and water. Good handwashing techniques include lathering your hands with soap and washing them for at least 20 seconds. Clean hands can stop germs from spreading.

Stay home and take care of yourself if you feel sick. If you’re diagnosed with the flu or with COVID-19, or even think you have either one, don’t spread the virus by going to work or school. This puts others, including your family and friends, in danger.

Wear a mask.  It’s important to cover your mouth and nose when out in public or when you can’t avoid close contact with others. Close contact is less than 6 feet between you and another person.

Call your doctor if you’re sick. Both the flu and COVID-19 can cause complications, so it’s vital to follow your doctor’s guidance.