Proper Handwashing

Caring for Someone with COVID-19

Most people who get sick with COVID-19 will have only mild illness and should recover at home. Care at home can help stop the spread of COVID-19 and help protect people who are at risk for getting seriously ill from COVID-19. If you are caring for someone at home, monitor for emergency signs, prevent the spread of germs, treat symptoms, and carefully consider when to end home isolation.

Monitor for emergency signs of COVID-19

If the person you are caring for develops emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include:

  • • Trouble breathing

  • • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest

  • • New confusion or inability to arouse

  • • Bluish lips or face

This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

Older adults and people of any age with certain serious underlying medical conditions like lung disease, heart disease, or diabetes are at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness and should seek care as soon as symptoms start.

Prevent the spread of germs

Have the person stay in one room, away from other people, including yourself, as much as possible.

  • • If possible, have them use a separate bathroom.
  • • Avoid sharing personal household items, like dishes, towels, and bedding
  • • If facemasks are available, have them wear a facemask when they are around people, including you.
  • • It the sick person can’t wear a facemask, you should wear one while in the same room with them, if facemasks are available.
  • • If the sick person needs to be around others (within the home, in a vehicle, or doctor’s office), they should wear a facemask.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after interacting with the sick person. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Every day, clean all surfaces that are touched often, like counters, tabletops, and doorknobs. Use household cleaning sprays or wipes according to the label instructions.

Wash laundry thoroughly. If laundry is soiled, wear disposable gloves and keep the soiled items away from your body while laundering. Wash your hands immediately after removing gloves.

Avoid having any unnecessary visitors.

Provide symptom treatment

  • • Make sure the sick person drinks a lot of fluids to stay hydrated and rests at home.
  • • Over-the-counter medicines may help with symptoms.
  • • For most people, symptoms last a few days and get better after a week.

When to end home isolation (staying home)

Those with COVID-19 or suspected they had COVID-19 and had symptoms can be around others after:

10 days since symptoms first appeared and;

• 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and;

• Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving (Note: loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation)

Those who tested positive for COVID-19 and had NO symptoms, can be around others after:

‚Äč• 10 days have passed since a positive test

Reviewed 10/1/20

Other Articles of Interest

What is Coronavirus? Am I At Risk? Prevention
Signs & Symptoms Should I Get Tested? What If I Think I Have Coronavirus?
Preparing for Coronavirus Caring for Someone with Coronavirus Coping With Coronavirus