This can be difficult if space is limited for large or extended families living together. While avoiding close contact with others and isolating someone who is sick can feel lonely, these actions are necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect yourself and your household.
What the sick person should do
• As much as possible, keep away from other people and pets in the home.
• Wear a mask if you MUST be around other people. Masks shouldn’t be worn by kids younger than two years, or anyone who has trouble breathing.
• Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, throw the tissue away, and then wash your hands right away. Wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• If possible, stay in a bedroom and use a bathroom separate from other people in the home.
• Use separate dishes, glasses, cups, and eating utensils and don’t share these with other household members. After use, run them through the dishwasher or wash with very hot soapy water.
• Use separate bedding and towels and don’t share these with other household members.
• The waste from the ill person should be packed in strong, closed bags before disposal.
• Limit the number of caregivers to one person without any underlying conditions, if possible.
• Caregivers and household members should wear a medical mask while in the same room with an ill person, not touch their mask or face during use, discard the mask after leaving the room, and wash their hands afterward.
• Make sure shared spaces in the home have good airflow. Open a window or turn on an air filter or air conditioner.
• Don’t allow visitors into your home. This includes children and adults.
• All household members should wash their hands well and often. Wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Wash the sick person’s clothing, bedding and towels with detergent on the hottest temperature possible. Wear gloves when handling their laundry, if possible. Wash your hands well after handling the laundry (even if you wore gloves).
• Every day, use a household cleaner or wipe to clean things that get touched a lot. These include doorknobs, light switches, toys, remote controls, sink handles, counters and phones. Keep a sick child’s toys separate from other toys, if possible.
How long should people with COVID-19 stay at home and in isolation?
People with COVID-19 who are cared for at home should stay in isolation until they are no longer able to transmit the virus to others:
• Those with symptoms should stay isolated for a minimum of 10 days after the first day they developed symptoms, plus another three days after the end of symptoms – when they are with-out fever and without respiratory symptoms.
• People without symptoms should stay isolated for a minimum of 10 days after testing positive.