Prevention steps for people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 (including persons under investigation) who do not need to be hospitalized and people with confirmed COVID-19 who were hospitalized and determined to be medically stable to go home
- Stay home except to get medical care.
- Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home.
- Call ahead before visiting your doctor.
- Wear a face mask.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes.
- Clean your hands often.
- Avoid sharing personal household items.
- Clean all “high-touch” surfaces every day.
- Monitor your symptoms. Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening (e.g., difficulty breathing). Beforeseeking care, call your healthcare provider.
- If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel that you have or are being evaluated for COVID-19. If possible, put on a face mask before emergency medical services arrive.
- Discontinuing home isolation. Call your provider about guidance to discontinue home isolation.
Recommended precautions for household members, intimate partners, and caregivers in a
non-healthcare setting of a patient with symptomatic laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 or a patient under investigation
Household members, intimate partners and caregivers in a non-healthcare setting may have close contact with a person with symptomatic, laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 or a person under investigation. Close contacts should monitor their health; they should call their healthcare provider right away if they develop symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 (e.g., fever, cough, shortness of breath).
Close contacts should also follow these recommendations:
- Make sure that you understand and can help the patient follow their healthcare provider’s instructions for medication(s) and care. You should 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 and tell them that the patient has laboratory-confirmed COVID-19. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people in the office or waiting room from getting infected. Ask the healthcare provider to call the local or state health department for additional guidance. 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. Household members should use a separate bedroom and bathroom, if available.
- Prohibit visitors who do not have an essential need to be in the home.
- Household members should care for any pets. Do not handle pets or other animals while sick.
- Make sure that shared spaces in the home have good air flow, such as by an air conditioner or an opened window, weather permitting.
- Perform hand hygiene frequently. 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 preferentially if hands are visibly dirty.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- The patient should wear a face mask when you are around other people. If the patient is not able to wear a face mask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), you, as the caregiver, should wear a mask when you are in the same room as the patient.
- Wear a disposable face mask and gloves when you touch or have contact with the patient’s blood, stool or body fluids, such as saliva, sputum, nasal mucus, vomit and urine.
- Throw out disposable face masks and gloves after using them. Do not reuse.
- When removing personal protective equipment, 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 face mask, and immediately clean your hands again with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid sharing household items with the patient. You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding or other items. After the patient uses these items, you should wash them thoroughly (see below “Wash laundry thoroughly”).
- Clean all “high-touch” surfaces, such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and bedside tables, every day. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool or body fluids on them.
- Use a household cleaning spray or wipe, according to the label instructions. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.
- Wash laundry thoroughly.
- Immediately remove and wash clothes or bedding that have blood, stool or body fluids on them.
- 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.
- Read and follow directions on labels of laundry or clothing items and detergent. In general, using 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, face masks and other contaminated items in a lined container before disposing of them with other household waste. Clean your hands (with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer) immediately after handling these items. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty.
- Discuss any additional questions with your state or local health department or healthcare provider. Check available hours when contacting your local health department.