All New Yorkers should stay home and minimize contact with others to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
But can you have sex?
Here are some tips for how to enjoy sex and to avoid spreading COVID-19.
- Know how COVID-19 spreads.
- You can get COVID-19 from a person who has it.
- The virus can spread to people who are within about 6 feet of a person with COVID-19 when that person coughs or sneezes.
- The virus can spread through direct contact with their saliva or mucus.
- We still have a lot to learn about COVID-19 and sex.
- COVID-19 has been found in feces of people who are infected with the virus.
- COVID-19 has not yet been found in semen or vaginal fluid.
- We know that other coronaviruses do not efficiently transmit through sex.
- Have sex with people close to you.
- You are your safest sex partner. Masturbation will not spread COVID-19, especially if you wash your hands (and any sex toys) with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after sex.
- The next safest partner is someone you live with. Having close contact — including sex
- with only a small circle of people helps prevent spreading COVID-19. Have sex only
- with consenting partners.
- You should avoid close contact — including sex — with anyone outside your household.
- If you do have sex with others, have as few partners as possible.
- If you usually meet your sex partners online or make a living by having sex, consider taking a break from in-person dates. Video dates, sexting or chat rooms may be options for you.
- Take care during sex.
- Kissing can easily pass COVID-19. Avoid kissing anyone who is not part of your small circle of close contacts.
- Rimming (mouth on anus) might spread COVID-19. Virus in feces may enter your mouth.
- Condoms and dental dams can reduce contact with saliva or feces, especially during oral or anal sex.
- Washing up before and after sex is more important than ever.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Wash sex toys with soap and warm water.
- Disinfect keyboards and touch screens that you share with others (for video chat, for watching pornography or for anything else).
- Skip sex if you or your partner is not feeling well.
- If you or a partner may have COVID-19, avoid sex and especially kissing.
- If you start to feel unwell, you may be about to develop symptoms of COVID-19, which include fever, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath.
- If you or your partner has a medical condition that can lead to more severe COVID-19, you may also want to skip sex.
- Medical conditions include lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, cancer or a weakened immune system (for example, having unsuppressed HIV and a low CD4 count).
- Prevent HIV, other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unplanned pregnancy.
- HIV: Condoms, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and having an undetectable viral load all help prevent HIV. For more information, visit nyc.gov/health and search HIV.
- Other STIs: Condoms help prevent other STIs. Visit nyc.gov/health and search STIs.
- Pregnancy: Make sure you have an effective form of birth control for the coming weeks. Visit nyc.gov/health and search birth control.
For the latest information, visit nyc.gov/coronavirus or cdc.gov/covid19. For real-time updates, text “COVID” to 692-692. Messages and data rates may apply.