HOUSTON – So what if you or someone you live with ends up in a self-quarantine situation? There are some things you should do to prepare now just in case.
“It’s always good to prepare ahead of time in case a loved one has symptoms at home, you can help quarantine them and plan ahead for that,” said Dr. Christopher Stephens, Medical Director Community Fire Department.
1. Identify designated room
Consider what room in your home would work best for a home base for the person who is sick. This is the room you will be sleeping in and eating in. Leave food at door and let the person grab it after you are gone. Disposable dishes would be great, but just washing them after is OK too.
2. Designate a bathroom
If possible, have a bathroom for only the sick person to use. When you leave that room for a bathroom or shower break, wear a mask on your face.
3. Clean hot spot germ areas after each use
Cleaning “hot spot” areas include the sink, faucets, knobs, toilet handle, and countertop. Don’t forget to sanitize all of the door handles. Disinfectant wipes are great, but a bleach mixture also works. Remember, the best way to use wipes and other cleaning products is to let it sit et, don’t wipe it dry.
4. Laundry guidelines
For laundries like clothes and sheets, experts agree this is a pretty low-risk area. Washing items with other family member’s clothes are just fine. Use hot water and dry on high heat. You may want to wear gloves while handling the laundry from the sick person. However, just good hand washing will also be helpful.
5. Be careful with pets
If possible stay away from pets. Although there have not been confirmed reports of pets transmitting COVID-19, it is recommended sick people limit contact with animals just in case. Plus, you never know if you are leaving germs on the pet’s hair that might get transmitted to someone else. This is something experts don’t know much about either, but it’s best to be on the safe side.
If you are the only one in your family who has to be quarantined and you can manage your own symptoms, that’s ideal. If you need to be cared for, or have a child, designate one caretaker and make sure that person limits contact with you and washes their hands often.
Monitor the sick person
It is important to monitor the person for worsening symptoms and know the emergency warning signs. Have their healthcare provider’s information on hand. If they are getting sicker, call their healthcare provider. Emergency warning signs include trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, blush lips or face.
People with COVID-19 who have stayed home can home isolation under a few conditions including no fever for 72 hours and at least seven days have passed since their symptoms first appeared.
Here is more information for self quarantining and caring for someone who is sick.