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What to do if someone in your home has (or is suspected of having) coronavirus

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following guidelines to keep your and others in the home safe while caring for someone who is ill with coronavirus (COVID-19).

  • Monitor the patient’s symptoms. If the patient is getting sicker, call his or her health care provider. If the patient has a medical emergency and you need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel that the patient has, or is being evaluated for, COVID-19.

  • Household members should stay in another room or be separated from the patient as much as possible. Use a separate bedroom and bathroom, if possible.

  • Prohibit any visitor who does not have an essential need to be in the home.

  • Household members should care for any pets in the home..

  • Make sure that any spaces shared with the patient have good air flow, such as by an air conditioner or an opened window.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60 to 95% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Soap and water should be used if hands are dirty.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

  • The patient should wear a facemask when around other people. If the patient is not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), the caregiver should wear a mask when in the same room as the patient.

  • Wear a disposable facemask and gloves when you have contact with the patient, such as when you are helping move or clean them.
    • Throw out disposable facemasks and gloves after using them. Do not reuse.

    • First remove and dispose of gloves. Then, immediately clean your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Next, remove and dispose of facemask, and immediately clean your hands again with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

  • Don’t share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding, or other items with the patient. After the patient uses these items, you should wash them thoroughly.

  • In the bedroom/bathroom dedicated for an ill person, consider reducing cleaning frequency to as needed to avoid unnecessary contact with the ill person.
    • Use a household cleaning spray or wipe on surfaces, according to the label instructions. Follow an precautions on the label.

  • Wash laundry thoroughly.
    • Wear disposable gloves while handling soiled items and keep soiled items away from your body. Clean your hands immediately after removing your gloves.

    • Dry laundry using the warmest temperatures recommended on the clothing label.

  • Place all used disposable gloves, facemasks, and other contaminated items in a lined container before disposing of them with other household waste. Clean your hands immediately after handling these items.

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