If someone in your household becomes sick with coronavirus or another respiratory illness, there are several actions you can take to care for them and keep yourself from getting sick.
- Make sure that you understand and can help the patient follow their healthcare provider’s instructions for medication(s) and care. Help the patient with basic needs in the home and provide support for getting groceries, prescriptions, and other personal needs.
- Monitor the patient’s symptoms. If the patient is getting sicker, call his or her healthcare provider before you travel to the healthcare provider’s office. This will help staff take steps to keep other people in the office or waiting room from getting infected.
- When possible, household members should try to stay in another room or be separated from the patient as much as possible.
- If people do not have an essential need to be in the home, they should not visit while a person is ill.
- Make sure that shared spaces in the home have good air flow, such as by an air conditioner or an opened window, weather permitting.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water and scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. If hands are visibly dirty, using soap and water is preferable.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid sharing household items with the patient. Don’t share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding, or other items. After the patient uses these items, you should wash them thoroughly.
- Each day use a household cleaning spray or wipe, according to the label instructions to clean all high-touch surfaces, such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids.
- Wash laundry thoroughly.
- Wear disposable gloves while handling soiled items and keep soiled items away from your body. Clean your hands (with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer) immediately after removing your gloves.
- Immediately remove and wash clothes or bedding that have blood, stool, or body fluids.
- Read and follow directions on labels of laundry or clothing items and detergent. In general, use a normal laundry detergent according to washing machine instructions and dry thoroughly using the warmest temperatures recommended on the clothing label.
- Place all used disposable gloves and other contaminated items in a lined container before disposing of them with other trash. Clean your hands (with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer) immediately after handling these items.
For the most complete guidance on preventing the spread of coronavirus please visit the CDC’s website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html#f1.