#StopTheDrops – Mitigating the Spread of COVID-19

#StopTheDrops provides resources you can use to educate yourself and your community and proactively take action to help stop the transmission of COVID-19 on your campus. 

How will “stopping droplets” reduce the spread of COVID-19? Scroll through this quick 3-D simulation to see how respiratory droplets spread viruses and why it’s so important to #StopTheDrops to reduce transmission of COVID-19 and protect the community. 

COVID-19 Fast Facts

When an infected person coughs, sneezes, speaks or breathes, the person releases respiratory droplets. Larger droplets fall ~3-6 feet while smaller droplets (aerosols) can float in the air for a time. Others risk infection through close contact with the infected person or by being in a closed space.

This 3-D simulation shows how droplets spread through the air.

To reduce transmission, #StopTheDrops!

People without symptoms can be:

  • Asymptomatic: Infected, but so mild they don’t have symptoms.
  • Pre-symptomatic: Infected, but no symptoms yet.

They feel fine, but can infect others. 

While young adults are less likely to get severely ill, they do spread it.

While young adults are less likely to get severely ill, they do spread it.

We know this is hard. We know you didn’t ask for this. You can do this – we know you can!

Make it YOUR mission to #StopTheDrops.

Learn the facts. Have conversations. Practice everyday actions. Use the “Gathering Guide” and other tools from this site to think through gatherings and make a difference! 

Transmission: The Problem of Shared Air

To #StopTheDrops and reduce transmission, you have to know how the virus that causes COVID-19 spreads. Explore the resources in this section and also check out the tools below under How Do I #StopTheDrops?

How coronavirus spreads outdoors vs. indoors
This video explains how COVID-19 transmission occurs, how different factors influence transmission and how to reduce risks. (6 min)
The Risks – Know Them – Avoid Them (Dr. Erin Bromage)
This blog post lays out the science about what is and isn’t risky in a way that can help everyone make decisions that reduce the likelihood of transmission. It was written in May 2020, so some details may have changed, but the overarching points are still accurate. Also see his pot about masks.
Why bars are hot spots for COVID-19 transmission (USA Today, July 18, 2020)
Scientists and helpful visuals explain how concentrations of COVID-19 can build up rapidly in indoor, crowded, poorly ventilated spaces where people are socializing.
Study shows how COVID-19 at family gathering in Catawba County spread into community (WSOC, July 10, 2020)
This news report from Catawba County, North Carolina, is a great example of how quickly one gathering can lead to widespread infection.

How Do I #StopTheDrops?

What you do matters. This year will be different, but you’ve got this! Think it through. Plan. Lead the way. Make it your mission to #StopTheDrops. Here are some resources to help:

Have conversations.

Think through gatherings and events.

  • #StopTheDrops Gathering Guide
  • COVID-19: Small Circles (Government of the Northwest Territories, Canada, July 16, 2020)
    This video by the Government of the Northwest Territories (NWT, Canada) talks about keeping your social circle small as a way of reducing the chances of getting infected or infecting others. (2 min)
Keep practicing everyday actions: handwashing, staying 6 feet apart, proper masking and disinfecting.

  • How to Protect Yourself & Others (CDC)
    This CDC site explains how to practice everyday actions and why each of these actions are important in order to #StopTheDrops. This information is summarized in this handy 1-page infographic.
  • Back-to-College Tips: Protect Yourself From COVID-19 (CDC)
    This CDC poster provides helpful tips for everyday actions to protect you and others from COVID-19 in dorms/houses, shared bathrooms, classrooms, dining halls and meals and laundry rooms. Includes a helpful list of what to take with you when you leave home.
  • Social Distancing (CDC)
    This CDC site explains the rationale of why social distancing is so important to help to avoid transmission. This site provides a video with key times and themes of social distancing that could be shared with members and used as an everyday action discussion!
  • How to Properly Wear a Mask (CDC)
    This visual guide demonstrates the proper ways to wear your masks, how to safely remove them and frequent washing practices. This resource is a helpful visual aid and could be printed and posted to help students wear their masks properly.
  • Up your handwashing game with these two videos: Blacklight and Germ Tracing and Hand Coverage With Paint

Get in Touch With Your Inner Science Geek

A note about science: Scientific knowledge is based on combining insights from multiple study findings over many years. Since the virus is new, our understanding of COVID-19 is evolving rapidly as new research is shared. Some aspects are well-understood, while others are still being studied. The urgency of this situation means we have to act on the best available information, recognizing it may change. Tips: Look for more recent information, use trusted sources, and remember that no one study ever tells the whole story. Here are some trusted sources for science-based information:

Reducing Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 (Science, June 26, 2020)
This article explains how masks and testing are necessary to combat asymptomatic spread of COVID-19 in aerosols and droplets.


Colleges, Universities, and Higher Learning (CDC)
This page contains all guidance and direction from the CDC on best practices for colleges and universities regarding COVID-19. This is a great place to start when asked to consider CDC guidance.
Considerations for Events and Gatherings (CDC)
This document can help you safely plan for events and gatherings. The CDC provides a checklist for consideration for helping reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 and plan safely during and event.
Toolkit for Young Adults: 15 to 21 (CDC)
This toolkit provides basic information on COVID-19 spread, prevention techniques like testing and everyday actions, symptoms to look out for and more. This toolkit helps explain many aspects of skills needed to #StopTheDrops.
The Osterholm Update: COVID-19 (podcast)
In weekly hour-long podcasts, Dr. Michael Osterholm of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) explores various aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic in an easy-to-understand way.
Follow scientists on social media and hear from the experts.


COVID-19 is caused by a novel (new) coronavirus, and therefore our knowledge is rapidly evolving. This information was accurate as of mid-August 2020. This content is educational and not intended as medical advice.

NPC partnered with Linda Langford, Sc.D., and Will Frankenberger, M.S., M.A., to develop education and resources for the #StopTheDrops health promotion. The promotion was made possible through the generous support of the NPC Foundation and MJ Insurance-Sorority Division.