How to Protect Yourself

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To prevent getting and spreading COVID-19, make sure you practice good personal health habits and avoid being exposed to the virus. Residents of Winnebago County are strongly advised to:

  • Get vaccinated and get your booster as soon as you are eligible.
  • Wear a mask anytime when COVID-19 community levels are high. You can find the COVID-19 Community Level by using this tool.
  • Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or if you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Find local community testing sites here.
  • Use at-home tests when gathering with others from outside your household before you get together. It is recommended to keep gatherings small and those in attendance test prior to the gathering. Stay home if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, are not feeling well, or are in quarantine due to exposure.
  • Stay home when ill.


Vaccination is the primary way to prevent the spread of COVID-19. All the available vaccines are very safe and highly effective at preventing severe symptoms and avoiding hospitalization and death from COVID-19. Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself, your family, and your community from the risks of COVID-19. Vaccines are widely available throughout Winnebago County. Just visit for a list of vaccine clinic locations in our area.

Employers and organizations are highly encouraged to promote vaccination. Interested in hosting an on-site vaccine clinic? Contact the Winnebago County Health Department at 920-232-3026 or

Looking for some information to share with your family, friends, co-workers, and others regarding vaccination? Check out the Toolkit for posters, social media posts, videos, and other resources.

Wearing a mask:

On February 25, 2022 the Centers for Disease Control introduced new guidance pertaining to masking. Winnebago County Health Department recommends the following:

  • Wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas where the COVID-19 community level is classified as high.
  • People with symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should wear a mask regardless of COVID-19 community level.
  • People can wear a mask, no matter the COVID-19 community level. Your choice to mask may be based on personal preference and your personal level of risk. Those who are immunocompromised or are at increased risk due to age, disease, or other health complications may continue to mask to decrease the chance of infection.
  • If you have symptoms, are exposed to someone with COVID-19, or test positive for COVID-19 you should wear a mask until you receive a negative test or for 5 days following the completion of your isolation.

Masks ARE REQUIRED in the following settings:

  • Healthcare facilities such as hospitals and nursing homes.
  • Areas with high COVID-19 Community Levels.
  • Correctional and detention facilities and homeless shelters.
  • Places that are required by local or tribal laws, rules, and regulations, including local businesses and workplaces.



Additional resources for masking:

Hygiene and cleaning:

Continuing to maintain proper hygiene and disinfecting practices will help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

It’s especially important to wash your hands:

  • Before eating or preparing food 
  • Before touching your face
  • After using the restroom
  • After leaving a public place
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After handling your mask
  • After changing a diaper
  • After caring for someone sick
  • After touching animals or pets

If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Cleaning with a household cleaner that contains soap or detergent reduces the amount of germs on surfaces and decreases risk of infection from surfaces. In most situations, cleaning alone removes most virus particles on surfaces. When someone is sick or if someone is positive for COVID-19 it is recommended to disinfect your home. Disinfecting kills any remaining germs on surfaces and reduces the spread of germs. Immediately after disinfecting, wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds


Additional resources for hygiene and cleaning:

Information for more vulnerable populations:

Those who are at higher risk due to factors including but not limited to illness, age, and social settings may need to adhere to different recommendations and follow different procedures. For those populations please check out the following resources.