Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Caring for someone at home

by Katherine Hoyer
| April 3, 2020 1:11 AM

This is a series about COVID-19 preparation and regional updates. Check The Press daily for new information, tips, and ways our health care professionals are working to keep our community safe.

As the number of cases of COVID-19 increase in our area, many of you may be taking care of yourself or a loved one at home. There is no need for hospitalization for those who are COVID-19 positive and are experiencing mild symptoms.

Those individuals and their household members are asked to self-isolate at home for a prescribed period of time. It is important to understand how to care for yourself and safely care for a loved one in the home.

Here are steps from the CDC you can follow if you are sick or caring for someone at home:

• Stay home except to get medical care. Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and are able to recover at home without medical care. Call ahead before visiting your doctor. If you have a medical appointment that cannot be postponed, call your doctor’s office, and tell them you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the office protect themselves and other patients.

• Separate yourself from other people in your home. This is known as home isolation. If possible, stay in a specific “sick room,” and away from other people in your home. Use a separate bathroom, if available.

• Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue. Throw used tissues in a lined trash can. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

• Clean your hands often. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This is especially important after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.

• Avoid sharing personal household items. Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people in your home. After using these items, wash them thoroughly with soap and water or put in the dishwasher.

• Clean all “high-touch” surfaces every day. Clean high-touch surfaces in your isolation area (“sick room” and bathroom) every day; let a caregiver clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces in other areas of the home.

If a caregiver or other person needs to clean and disinfect a sick person’s bedroom or bathroom, they should do so on an as-needed basis. The caregiver/other person should wear a mask and wait as long as possible after the sick person has used the bathroom.

Monitor your symptoms. Common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever and cough. Trouble breathing is a more serious symptom that means you should get medical attention.

People with COVID-19 who have stayed home can stop isolation under the following conditions:

You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use medicine that reduces fevers)


other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved)


at least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared.

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