Coronavirus across the US is getting worse. Here's a refresher on how to stay safe

Wearing a mask is one of the most effective things you can do to protect yourself and others from the coronavirus.

(CNN)It's a recurring headline these days: New cases of coronavirus are surging around the country, along with hospitalization rates and Covid-19 deaths.

And with winter coming, health experts say it's only going to get worse, as more people gather indoors to avoid cold weather.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday recommended that Americans should stay home for Thanksgiving and not mingle with people outside your household.
How else can you protect yourself and those you love? Here's a refresher on the basics.

    Wear a mask properly

    It's simple, but wearing a mask properly is one of the most important ways you can protect yourself and those around you, health experts say.
    A recent report by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington found that if 95% of Americans wore masks, almost 70,000 lives would be saved.
    N95 masks offer the best protection, but they are in short supply, and the CDC is asking people not to go out and buy them, because they are urgently needed by health care workers.
    Washable, breathable cloth masks will do the job, but they should have at least two layers -- three are better -- and you can add a filter for more protection.
    Masks should cover both your nose and mouth, and should fit snugly, with no gaps.
    Goggles or face shields aren't necessarily recommended for eye protection if you are not a health care worker or are in high-risk situations, health experts have said.
    Not sure how to choose a mask? Check out these guidelines.

    Wash your hands

    Washing your hands frequently is still one of the most basic and simple things you can do.
    Work up a good lather and scrub your hands, fingers and under your nails for at least 20 seconds. Use clean, running water to thoroughly rinse, then scrub them dry.
    Washing for at least 20 seconds has been shown to remove more microbes than washing for shorter periods. Singing "Happy Birthday" twice while washing can work as a "timer."
    Frequent hand washing will also protect you from all sorts of harmful bacteria and viruses other than the new coronavirus, including influenza and the common cold.

    Use hand sanitizer

    It's not as good as washing your hands with good old soap, but hand sanitizer can be used when that isn't an option.
    It's important that both of your hands are covered completely, including between the fingers and under the nails. Rub your hands until they are dry. Use it generously if your hands are greasy or really dirty, since the sanitizer might not be as effective in that case, according to the CDC.
    Unlike in the beginning of the pandemic, hand sanitizer is relatively easy to find in stores, so don't try to make your own. Health experts say it's critical that you get the right concentration of alcohol to disable the virus.
    Check out this list of more than 100 dangerous hand sanitizers to avoid. Some contain methanol, which can be lethal. Others don't have enough alcohol.

    Reduce your risk