COVID-19 cases are rising across the country. Large-scale efforts like lockdowns and social gathering bans are helping slow the spread, but containment efforts shouldn't stop at your front door.

According to the CDC, if you or someone you live with tests positive for COVID-19, or is exhibiting common symptoms like cough, fever and shortness of breath, you should stay home and contact your doctor or local health department.

If possible, ensure that the person who is sick stays in a separate room away from other people - even pets. Pets will not get sick from the disease, but can transfer the virus from person to person through contact, similarly to shared surfaces.

It’s important to call ahead before visiting the doctor. Health officials say this allows the doctor to take proper precautions to protect other patients and health care workers. It also can prevent increasing strain on emergency and healthcare systems.

Don’t share household items, such as food, drinks, or personal care items. Wear a mask if you’re sick or if you’re directly caring for someone who is. As always, cover coughs and sneezes, preferably with a tissue -and wash your hands right after you cough or sneeze. Washing your hands is one easy to implement step that can drastically slow down the spread of COVID-19 .After you use a tissue, throw it away immediately into a lined trash bin. 

Wash your hands often, using soap and warm water - scrubbing for at least 20 seconds. Disinfect high-touch surfaces often, like doorknobs, phones, and counters. 

If you develop serious symptoms like difficulty breathing and a fever of 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, contact your doctor or emergency services.

For more information, visit and your local health department website.