Most people who get sick with COVID-19 will have a mild illness and should recover at home. Care at home can help stop the spread of the virus and help protect people who are at risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19. Here are a few safety tips on how to prevent the spread of germs at home when caring for someone diagnosed with COVID-19:
- The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough and shortness of breath.
- Severe symptoms include:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
- Call your doctor before going to the hospital if the person who is sick displays any of these severe symptoms.
- If you believe their severe symptoms are life threatening, please call 911.
Limit shared living spaces
- Have the person with COVID-19 stay in one room, away from other people and pets.
- If possible, do not share the same bathroom.
- Deliver meals to person with the illness, instead of having them enter the kitchen.
Avoid sharing household items
- Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, eating utensils, towels or bedding.
- Be sure to thoroughly clean all used household items on a regular basis.
Cover coughs and sneezes
- Everyone should cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when they cough or sneeze, then dispose of the used tissue in a lined trash can. Immediately wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.
Clean your hands often
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer of soap is not available.
- Be sure to wash all surfaces of your hands and wrists.
Clean all common surfaces and areas every day
- Use household cleaners that are safe and effective.
- Wear gloves and open a window for ventilation.
- Common areas include:
- Furniture such as tables, chairs, desks, cabinets and beds.
- Kitchen counters, bathroom fixtures, toilets and bathtubs or showers
- Electronics such as remotes, phones, keyboards, and tablets.
Discontinuing home isolation
For individuals with symptoms who are confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 and are directed to care for themselves at home, discontinue home isolation under the following conditions:
- If you had a fever, 3 days after the fever is gone without use of fever-reducing medications AND you see an improvement in your initial symptoms (e.g. cough, shortness of breath);
- If you did not have a fever, 3 days after you see an improvement in your initial symptoms (e.g. cough, shortness of breath);
- 7 days after symptom onset, whichever is longer.