What you should know about the Coronavirus and banking
NBC has been serving its communities for nearly 90 years, and we will continue to do so. We are in uncharted waters, but the safety of our staff and customers is at the top of our priorities.
As we closely monitor reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and the Oklahoma State Department of Health, here are some things you should know. We will update this page often, so please check here for the latest news.
Click on each headline to expand.
UPDATED JAN. 25: Lobbies have reopened in Oklahoma City
As of Monday, Jan. 25, we have reopened our lobbies in Oklahoma City. You also may bank easily with us via our drive-thrus and our ATMs.
We continue to take steps at the bank to keep operating and limit the spread of the virus. You will see us wearing masks, and we encourage you to do the same. If you have questions, please call the direct line for your location listed on our website here. Here are other ways that you can bank easily with us:
- Drive-thru: All drive-thrus are open during regular business hours to conduct all teller transactions.
- Telephone banking (24/7): Feel free to call our automated line at (800) 590-2580 to get information on balances, lost cards and specific location assistance.
- Online banking: Sign in to your account through online banking using the login button at the top of any page on our website. You’ll have access to account balances, transfers, bill payment, account statements and more.
- Mobile banking: Download our app for consumer or business to be able to reach all the applications available such as account balances, transfers, bill payment, mobile deposit and Zelle® (consumer only).
Important information will be updated through social media and our website. Thank you for working with us as we take these steps needed to ensure the safety and health of our employees and customers as we weather this storm nationwide. We are here to assist you with your banking needs.
We will continue to monitor the situation closely and evaluate other ways we can support you during this time.
NEW! IRS warns people about a COVID-related text message scam
Please be wary of any communication about your stimulus payment that asks you to provide bank account and other personally identifiable information. The Internal Revenue Service is warning people of a text message scam and reiterates that the IRS does not ever send unsolicited texts or emails. The agency also won't ever demand immediate payment using a gift card, prepaid debit card or wire transfer, nor will it threaten to have a taxpayer arrested, according to the IRS newsroom.
Here are details in a COVID Tax tip, directly from the IRS:
The IRS and its Security Summit partners are warning people to be aware of a new text message scam. The thief's goal is to trick people into revealing bank account information under the guise of receiving the $1,200 Economic Impact Payment.
Here's how this scam works
People get a text message saying they have "received a direct deposit of $1,200 from COVID-19 TREAS FUND. Further action is required to accept this payment. ... Continue here to accept this payment. …" The text includes a link to a phishing web address.
This fake link appears to come from a state agency or relief organization. It takes people to a fake website that looks like the IRS.gov Get My Payment website. If people visit the fake website and enter their personal and financial account information, the scammers collect it.
Here's what people should do if they receive this message:
Anyone who receives this scam text should take a screenshot and include the screenshot in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
- Date/time/time zone that they received the text message
- The phone number that received the text message
Please continue to be aware of emails, texts and phone calls that appear real and that require action or personal information from you. If you'd like to familiarize yourself with known scams, here are some additional links that will help navigate all the ways that fraudsters are trying to separate you from your money:
Find out about your second stimulus check from the IRS
Once again, the Internal Revenue Service will soon begin depositing Economic Impact Payments into the accounts of eligible taxpayers, the IRS reports. Congress authorized a second round of payments in recent COVID-19 relief legislation, which the president signed into law. The IRS expects to begin distributing these payments as early as late today (Dec. 30).
In this round, which the IRS calls "EIP2," if you are eligible, you likely will receive $600 as an individual or you and your spouse will receive $1,200 as a married couple filing a joint return. In addition, you will receive $600 for each qualifying child under 17 years old.
If you don’t normally have to file a tax return, including if you make too little income to file, and you didn't register for these payments earlier this year, you may be eligible for a Recovery Rebate Credit.
Get the details about this round of Economic Impact Payments at IRS.gov/eip. You can now check the status pf your payment at IRS.gov/GetMyPayment. Most payments will be deposited directly into your bank account if the IRS has your account information on file, or you will receive a paper check by mail. Some will receive a debit card for these payments; if you are one of them, read more about it at eipcard.com.
Make sure links to this tool come from the IRS.gov website, or else it might be a scam. As NBC has mentioned on this page, scammers are actively looking for ways to trick you into handing over your funds.
The IRS continues to post general coronavirus, tax-related updates on IRS.gov/coronavirus.
COVID-19 vaccine scams proliferate as people begin receiving the vaccine
Learn how to watch for them, and how to protect yourself and your money.
As COVID-19 vaccine distribution begins, scammers have already set out to take advantage of any confusion, but we’re here to help, with guidelines from our federal health and law enforcement agencies – the FBI, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Office of Inspector General) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Fraudsters will try to separate you from your money and gain access to your personal information using various scenarios, so it’s important to be aware. Avoid potential fraud from people who:
- Ask you to pay out of pocket to get the vaccine with a deposit or fee;
- Ask you to put your name on a vaccine waiting list or to get early access;
- Advertise for vaccines through social media platforms, email, telephone calls, online or from unsolicited/unknown sources;
- Offer as marketers to sell or ship doses of the vaccine for payment, either domestically or internationally;
- Ask you to undergo additional medical testing or procedures when obtaining a vaccine;
- Call or email you, unsolicited, and say they’re from a medical office, insurance company or COVID-19 vaccine center requesting personal and/or medical eligibility to participate in a clinical vaccine trial or in order to obtain the vaccine;
- Make claims that cannot be verified of FDA approval for a vaccine;
- Contact you in person, by phone or by email to tell you the government or government officials require you to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
As always, do not give out your personal information to unknown sources.
To avoid COVID-19 vaccine-related fraud, make sure you are getting information from the right sources, and follow these tips:
- Consult the websites of state health departments (oklahoma.gov/health in Oklahoma) for up-to-date information about authorized vaccine distribution channels, and only obtain a vaccine through such channels. Also follow @OKVaccine on Twitter for updates.
- Check the FDA’s website (www.fda.gov) for current information about vaccine emergency use authorizations.
- Consult your primary care physician before undergoing any vaccination.
- Don’t share your personal or health information with anyone other than known and trusted medical professionals.
- Check your medical bills and insurance explanation of benefits (EOBs) for any suspicious claims and promptly report any errors to your health insurance provider.
- Follow guidance and recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other trusted medical professionals.
Stay alert, as cybercriminals will try to exploit legitimate efforts to develop, distribute and administer vaccines. If you are unsure about any financial requests related to the vaccine, you can call our customer service department at (800) 590-2580, and we’ll try to help you sort through it. But if you believe you have been the victim of COVID-19 fraud, report it to the following hotlines:
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General: (800) 447-8477 (800-HHS-TIPS) or tips.hhs.gov
- FBI: 800-225-5324 (800-CALL-FBI) or ic3.gov
- Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services: 800-633-4227 (800-MEDICARE to make it easy to remember but you don’t need the “E” at the end)
For the latest information about COVID-19 from various sources, check this page for regular updates, and see the Quick Links and Resources section below.
General online/cyber fraud prevention techniques:
- Verify the spelling of web addresses, websites, and email addresses that look trustworthy but may be imitations of legitimate websites.
- Ensure operating systems and applications are updated to the most current versions.
- Update anti-malware and anti-virus software and conduct regular network scans.
- Do not enable macros on documents downloaded from an email unless necessary and after ensuring the file is not malicious.
- Do not communicate with or open emails, attachments, or links from unknown individuals.
- Never provide personal information of any sort via email; be aware that many emails requesting your personal information may appear to be legitimate.
- Use strong two-factor authentication if possible, using biometrics, hardware tokens, or authentication apps.
- Disable or remove unneeded software applications.
Oklahoma Business Relief Program funds depleted
UPDATE: As of July 16, the Oklahoma Business Relief Program application is closed and the state Department of Commerce is no longer taking applications. We'll keep you updated on this page if additional relief programs become available.
[ARCHIVED INFORMATION] As a business owner, you may be eligible for additional relief funds to help your continued recovery from the pandemic. The Oklahoma Department of Commerce’s new Business Relief Program is offering qualifying businesses grants up to $25,000 in funding that stems from the federal CARES Act. The total grant amount for your business is equal to two months of average payroll up to the maximum.
NBC Oklahoma is a participating financial institution in this grant program and will help you take the steps you need to qualify and receive this vital funding.
Find program qualifications and eligibility requirements on the Oklahoma Department of Commerce website at okcommerce.gov/relief.
To qualify, your business must:
- Be located in Oklahoma.
- Show it suffered an average monthly loss of 25% or more in revenue between March and May 2020 as a result of COVID-19.
- Submit your application and related documents to NBC Oklahoma beginning June 29.
- Please have them to us no later than July 9, 2020, so we have sufficient time to process them before the July 10 deadline.
- Use grant funds for business expenses deemed permissible under the program.
Funds are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, so please gather required documents and submit your application to NBC as soon as possible. There will be a fee of 3% of the grant amount (not to exceed $500) payable to NBC Oklahoma.
Once you qualify and funds are available, NBC will disburse them on your behalf.
Please stay in contact as we move through this process and be ready as soon as possible so we can submit your Business Relief Program request quickly. We at NBC are happy to help you navigate this new and important funding for your business.
Again, for more details about this program and the documents you’ll need to provide, go to okcommerce.gov/relief. To apply, contact your NBC banker.
Offers from other vendors for small businesses
Some companies that we work with are offering some of their services at discounted rates during this time. As we at NBC see them, we will share them here:
- Deluxe Webservices is offering special pricing on its website during the COVID-19 crisis to help businesses with their ecommerce websites and social media pages, including three months free. Find out more on this Deluxe web page detailing its packages.
As we hear of more we will update this section.
NBC processed 534 PPP loans to help our businesses
We know times are hard, and we want you to know that we are here for you. In the first round of PPP funding, we processed 534 Paycheck Protection Program loans totaling more than $45 million in federal relief aid. Since funds became available April 3, our bankers have been working day and night and on the weekends to help our businesses receive these loans so they can help pay employees and keep operating.
The $45,475,820 million in PPP funds from the Small Business Administration and administered by NBC go directly into our communities to help employers ease the financial burden the pandemic is causing and save jobs. Businesses and small profits of all sizes and types applied for these PPP loans from NBC, with an average amount of $120,000.
Despite all of the unknowns related to the coronavirus, NBC Oklahoma will continue to be here for our customers. We have been supporting our communities in this way since 1931. Whether you need a little help or a lot, we will continue to be People You Can Bank On. And we’ll get through these tough times together.
As of Thursday morning, April 16, the funds for the PPP have been depleted, and the Small Business Administration and the U.S. Treasury Department will not be processing any more loan requests for these funds.
NBC will continue to do all we can to help our customers and will work closely with businesses to assess this situation as things change. We will also stay on top of other federal programs to help our small businesses who weren’t able to participate in the PPP loans. Please stay in touch with us as this pandemic continues; we will do what we can to help you in a different way. Keep your loan documents organized in case additional funding opens up quickly.
Find out about your stimulus check from the IRS (updated 4/15)
NOTE: This information relates to first round of Economic Impact Payments, authorized in April. See entry above for information about the Dec. 2020-authorized stimulus check.
Beginning this week (the week of April 12), the Internal Revenue Service has begun depositing Economic Impact Payments into the accounts of eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for either 2018 or 2019, the IRS reports.
If you are eligible, you will receive up to $1,200 for individuals, $2,400 for married couples and $500 for each qualifying child. If you receive Social Security retirement or disability benefits or SSDI or if you receive Railroad Retirement benefits but did not file a return for 2019 or 2018, you will automatically receive a payment in the near future.
If you don’t normally have to file a tax return, including if you make too little income to file, you will be able to use a new web tool to help you register quickly for an Economic Impact Payment. Learn more.
Developed in partnership between the IRS and the Free File Alliance, this free tool is available through IRS.gov: Look for “Non-filers: Enter Payment Info Here” to go directly to the tool, which will ask you for basic information.
If you use this tool, you will not owe any additional taxes; it simply allows you to enter your bank or financial account information for direct deposit or your address for a mailed check.
Make sure links to this tool come from the IRS.gov website, or else it might be a scam. As NBC has mentioned on this page, scammers are actively looking for ways to trick you into handing over your funds.
Check your payment status
To help everyone check on the status of their payments, the IRS has second new tool now available. Through Get My Payment, you can see the payment amount you are receiving, scheduled delivery date by direct deposit or paper check and if a payment hasn't been scheduled.
To see this information, you will need your Social Security number, birth date and mailing address you used on your tax return.
If your check isn't already on its way and you need to add your bank account information so you get your payment faster, you'll also need to provide the following additional information:
- Your Adjusted Gross Income from your most recent tax return submitted, either 2019 or 2018
- The refund or amount you owed from your latest filed tax return
- Your bank account type, account and routing numbers
Find the Get My Payment tool here on the IRS.gov website.
The IRS will post additional updates on IRS.gov/coronavirus on these and other issues.
Don’t fall for Coronavirus-related scams related to your economic impact payments
Thieves have already been busy trying to con you out of your $1,200 economic impact payment. Their efforts can lead to tax-related fraud and identity theft. The Internal Revenue Services, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Federal Trade Commission and other agencies all are compiling warnings and scenarios so people can be aware.
The IRS is warning that scammers may:
- Emphasize the words “stimulus check” or “stimulus payment.” The official term is economic impact payment.
- Ask you to sign over your economic impact payment check to them.
- Ask by phone, email, text or social media to verify your personal and/or banking information saying that the information is needed to receive or speed up your economic impact payment.
- Suggest that they can get you a tax refund or economic impact payment faster by working on the taxpayer’s behalf. This scam could be conducted by social media or even in person.
- Mail you as a taxpayer a bogus check, perhaps in an odd amount, then tell the taxpayer to call a number or verify information online in order to cash it.
Taxpayers should be wary of emails, text messages, web sites and social media that request money or personal information. Here is how you can prevent theft:
- Don’t open surprise emails that appear to come from the IRS or click on attachments in them. Government agencies won’t call you to verify or provide your financial information. Go to IRS.gov or the website of the group supposedly calling you for the most recent information.
In most cases, the IRS will directly deposit stimulus checks into the account it has on file for you from your most recent tax returns. If it doesn’t have account information, the IRS will be mailed to the address on file, although you can provide your account information online at IRS.gov via a secure portal.
- If you are a retiree who doesn’t normally have a requirement to file a tax return, no action is needed on your part. If you are a senior, be especially careful; no one from the agency will be contacting you to provide any additional information by phone, email, mail or in person about these, including recipients of Forms SSA-1099 and RRB-1099. You will receive your payment automatically.
- In general, be suspicious of anyone offering you something that’s “too good to be true” or is a secret investment opportunity or medical advice. Seek out legitimate sources of information. For medical information, those trusted sources are your own doctor, cdc.gov, and your local health department. For financial information, go to ftc.gov or irs.gov.
Reporting Coronavirus-related or other phishing attempts
Those who receive unsolicited emails, text messages or social media attempts to gather information that appear to be from either the IRS or an organization closely linked to the IRS, such as the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), should forward it to email@example.com.
Taxpayers are encouraged not to engage potential scammers online or on the phone. Learn more about reporting suspected scams by going to the Report Phishing and Online Scams page on IRS.gov.
What the Paycheck Protection Program can do for your business
We at NBC have been getting a lot of calls about the federal government’s relief program for small businesses known as the Paycheck Protection Program, which is expected to be administered by banks. As a certified SBA lender, we can assist with getting the relief you need for your business, even as the U.S. Treasury Department and the Small Business Administration have continued to tweak the program’s details right as it begins. Please contact your NBC banker or call any of our locations to discuss applying for a PPP loan or with any questions.
Here are details of the program:
The program kicked off Friday, April 3, the day that small businesses and sole proprietorships — generally, those with 500 or fewer employees — may apply for PPP loans. These also include private, nonprofit and veterans organizations affected by COVID-19. Independent contractors and self-employed workers can apply starting April 10. These funds are available through June 30.
Banks will be administering this program, which is designed to help your business keep workers on the payroll during the Coronavirus pandemic. The SBA will forgive these loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest or utilities. Forgiveness is based on employers maintaining headcount or quickly rehiring and maintaining salary levels.
As a small business, you can take out a PPP loan for two years at a 1% fixed rate, with payments deferred for six months. All banks are eligible to make these loans, but existing SBA-certified lenders are considered delegated authorities. As an SBA-certified lender, NBC falls into this category.
To qualify for the loan your business had to be operating as of Feb. 15 with employees for whom you paid salaries and payroll taxes. You also must verify the dollar amount of average payroll costs.
Financial institutions still need some guidance from federal agencies and regulators, the Oklahoma Bankers Association has noted. Banks still have a lot of questions about the steps the federal government needs from them to begin issuing the funds.
The good news is, like many Oklahoma's banks, NBC entered this pandemic from a position of strength and is well-equipped to help their communities. Call your banker at NBC Oklahoma to help you with this process or the main number to any of our locations. We are staying on top of the issues related to the Payroll Protection Program as they change frequently, and we will get you the answers to your questions for your business.
The Oklahoma Bankers Association also recommends the following five things businesses can do right now:
- Talk to your lender, if you haven't already. If you are experiencing or expect to experience cash flow problems, contacting your lender is the critical first step.
- Plan for the next three to six months, if you haven't already. Many businesses we've heard from have sufficient funds or access to capital for the first two to three months. However, we don't know how long the pandemic will last, so look ahead, both in terms of a potential lengthening of the pandemic and also in how you will handle recovery and re-opening of the business if you are currently closed.
- Be ready to produce required information quickly to help your lender with your application. All loan programs still require some information in order for the lender to underwrite the loan, including the ones created through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Be ready to produce required documentation quickly to help your lender with your application.
- Don't panic and draw on lines of credit unnecessarily. There is plenty of liquidity in the system (unlike the financial crisis in 2008) so don't panic and draw on lines of credit unnecessarily. Just like banks are encouraging consumers to keep excess cash in insured financial institutions, keep the lines of credit intact until you absolutely need to access them. There may be costs associated with accessing those funds and if you don't need to incur the added expense, don't.
- Have patience. The banking industry wants to help you through these unprecedented times, but not all programs are in place yet, and even when they are, technology can cause hiccups or delays (e.g. systems crashing).
Get started by downloading the borrower form from the SBA. Check with us to make sure you are using the latest form as it continues to evolve.
Download a fact sheet from the U.S. Treasury Department.
Get assistance for your small business
We know the Coronavirus and COVID-19 situation has altered Oklahoma’s economic landscape. The state has declared an emergency, and the federal government is releasing aid and programs to help ease the impact. We want you to be aware of resources to help those who are harmed by the pandemic, and we want to encourage you to act quickly as the situation is fast-moving and fluid. We at NBC will support and help you as you navigate this new territory.
As of March 21, the U.S. Small Business Administration has declared that small businesses in all 77 Oklahoma counties were eligible to apply for relief under the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management is expected to notify all businesses who have reported through the state portal at damage.ok.gov. Here are the steps you should take as a business owner.
- Take part in the state survey. The first place that businesses should record any economic impact related to COVID-19 is damage.ok.gov. If you haven’t completed this survey, your area small business won’t be eligible for funds. The state is collecting this information to identify the Coronavirus-related economic impact on small businesses and private/nonprofit organizations and to support a request for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration from the U.S. Small Business Administration. These impacts could include supply chain disruption, lost sales, employee layoffs, financial hardship, closure, etc.
- Consider an SBA loan. SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private, nonprofit organizations. These low-interest, working capital loans can help your business with fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred. They are not intended to replace lost sales or profits or for expansion. Eligibility is based on size, type of business and financial resources. You do not need to go through a bank to apply. Instead, submit your application online at no cost at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela or request applications by calling SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or (800) 877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of hearing or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. For more details information, go online to sba.gov/disaster and see attached handout. The maximum unsecured loan amount is $25,000.
We believe you need to submit your application as soon as possible, and make sure it is complete so your application isn’t delayed due to missing information. For help filling out your loan form, search for a local partner near you by going online to sba.gov/local-assistance. As always, if you have additional questions, contact the NBC bankers in your city or through customer service at (800) 590-2580. In our nearly 90 years in business, NBC has gone through tough economic times before and remained a strong support for our communities and businesses. We will continue to be People You Can Bank On in these times as well.
Your money is safe in our bank
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is warning of Coronavirus-related scams using its name, and we and the FDIC wanted to reassure you that your money is safe in a bank.
Even when NBC closed its lobbies to comply with the Centers for Disease Control guidance on social distancing, your deposits remained safe in our bank the entire time, as did your access to your funds. This is still true today, as our lobbies have reopened. We take pride in being People You Can Bank On, and our status as an FDIC-insured bank gives you extra protection. You can still bank with us through our ATMs, mobile applications, online banking services and our drive-thru service at each location.
Since 1933, no depositor has ever lost a penny of FDIC-insured funds. Today, the FDIC insures up to $250,000 per depositor per FDIC-insured bank, and these banks remain the safest place for customers to keep their money.
As the nation weathers this public health crisis together, there are some tools at the federal and state level that will help you protect your money and help your business get back on its feet in times of disaster. We’ll update this page as things develop, but please read on for a list of these tools, scams to watch for and other resources to help you.
Tools for you
- FDIC's Electronic Deposit Insurance Estimator (EDIE) is a tool that can help you determine deposit insurance coverage based on accounts you may already have with a bank or accounts they are considering opening. The agency recommends using this tool for questions about FDIC deposit insurance coverage.
- The Small Business Administration is providing low-interest disaster loans to help businesses and homeowners recover from declared disasters. More details about these loans and what to do in Oklahoma are on this page, including links, are under the heading "Get assistance for your small business." Apply online. Read more about the SBA’s efforts specific to the Coronavirus.
- The State of Oklahoma has a portal that you can use to report economic injury to your small business due to COVID-19. Find it at damage.ok.gov.
Additional reading from the FDIC
Be wary of scams related to the Coronavirus
As you protect your health from exposure to Coronavirus, protect yourself from scams that try to take advantage of your fears about getting sick with COVID-19.
To trick you out of personal information and your money, scammers may:
- Try to sell you fake products offering a cure.
- Appeal to your sense of charity and ask you to donate to fake causes.
- Compel you to click on fake websites or email attachments requesting secure login information.
- Pretend to send emails or texts from a medical or health organization with attachments containing malware.
- Impersonate medical supply companies with the supplies you need to prevent or protect infection.
- Offer you bogus investment opportunities.
- Don’t fall for any of these scams. Be as aware of these as you are of washing your hands, and make sure you are dealing with legitimate companies, organizations, websites and people.
We at NBC will never call you and ask for your username, account number, passwords and other security information over the phone. If you are unsure about any calls from us, please verify such requests by calling us back at your bank location or through customer service (800) 590-2580. You can also call us if you have a question about a possible scam.
Here is a list of things you can do to keep yourself safe from scams, especially as more of us begin working from home and relying on electronic communication.
- Don’t open unsolicited emails or click on links from people you don’t know.
- Don’t open attachments in any email unless you are sure of the source.
- Keep the anti-malware and anti-virus software on your computer up to date.
- Do not reveal any personal or financial information, especially passwords, to anyone via email.
- Watch for emails claiming to be from the CDC or experts saying that have information about the virus. For information about the Coronavirus, visit the CDC's Coronavirus website and the WHO's website.
- Ignore online offers for vaccinations and ads proclaiming to prevent, treat or cure this infection. Ask yourself whether you would hear about it for the first time through an ad or sales pitch.
- Don’t let anyone rush you into making a donation, and don’t give to people asking for donations in cash, by gift card or by wiring money. Research the sites asking you for one.
- Be wary about online promotions that claim the stock of a publicly-traded company is going to jump because they have developed a way to prevent, detect or cure COVID-19.
- If you’re working from home, secure your network and computer, follow your employer’s security practices, use strong passwords and dispose of sensitive information securely, such as by shredding.
SOURCES: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Federal Trade Commission, the World Health Organization, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and others.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization offer these tips to help keep you well and prevent the spread of the Coronavirus causing COVID-19. They are:
Wash your hands frequently. Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or wash them for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. Hand sanitizers should contain at least 60 percent alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
Maintain social distancing. Maintain at least three feet of distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
Practice respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
Stay home if you're sick. If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.
Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. These include tables, doorknobs, light switches, counter tops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks. If surfaces are dirty, clean them first: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
Stay informed. Follow advice given by your healthcare provider and medical experts.