If you have tested positive for COVID-19 and you’re caring for yourself at home or you’re caring for a loved one with COVID-19 at home, your mind must be buzzing with questions about how to keep safe and protect others around you. What can you do to prevent the spread of germs? How can you support a sick loved one while protecting yourself? Here are a few tips to stay safe.
Protecting Others If You’re Ill
If you’re ill with COVID-19, you can help prevent the spread of infection by staying at home from public areas, school, and work. Even if you have to go out, do so to get medical care. Covid positive patients should avoid using taxis, ride sharing services and public transportation at all costs.
Try to isolate yourself and avoid every contact with your family. Use a separate bathroom, stay in a room that gets plenty of fresh air and limit yourself to your quarters. If you do have to use a shared space at your home, make sure to limit your movement and Keep your kitchen and other shared spaces well ventilated. Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from your family members. Remember to sanitize all frequently touched objects in your bathroom and bedroom daily, such as counters, light switches, doorknobs, and handles.
Keep your personal household items, such as bedding, towels, dishes, and clothes, separate from others at your house. If you do have to go out of your room, make sure to wear a mask when talking to other people, or at least cover your mouth and nose while sneezing or coughing, and immediately dispose off the tissue. Also, change your mask once you have taken it off. Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before touching a shared object or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Protecting Yourself While Caring For Someone With COVID-19
If you are caring for a COVID-19 patient, CDC and WHO advise us to stay safe and protect ourselves by exercising care. For starters, after you have been in the same room as a COVID-19 patient or after coming in close contact with one, wash your hands with water and soap for 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol content. Avoid touching your face, nose, and mouth without washing your hands thoroughly.
If you have to be in the same room as a COVID-19 patient, wear a face mask even if the other person is wearing it as well. Maintain a distance of 6 feet from the sick person. Don’t touch your mask or remove it in the presence of a patient. Throw away the mask after you have removed it once and do not use the same mask again. Properly dispose of the used mask and wash your hands. As frequently as possible, sanitize all commonly used objects, such as doorknobs, tabletops, switch boards and counters that may have come in contact with the sick person. Avoid cleaning the sick person’s separate room and bathroom. Set aside utensils, bedding, and towels for the sick person only to use.
When it comes to dealing with a sick person’s laundry, careful take the dirty laundry to the washing machine, making sure that it doesn’t touch any other object. Also, avoid shaking dirty laundry. Use the warmest setting and wash your hands immediately after putting the laundry in the machine. Dry clothes thoroughly in the dryer before putting them away. If you are handling clothes that have been soiled by a patient, prevent the clothes from touching anything in your home and wear disposable gloves. Dispose off the gloves after a single use and wash your hands thoroughly. Place dirty gloves and masks in a waste bin with a lid in the sick person’s room. Clean and disinfect clothes hampers and wash your hands afterward.
Keep all utensils, cups and dishes used by the sick person separate. Wear gloves when handling these items and wash them with soap and hot water or in the dishwasher once they have been used. Clean your hands with soap and water carefully after handling anything used by the sick person. If you have to provide oral or respiratory care to a sick person, or need to handle waste or bodily fluids, wear a mask and disposable gloves at all times. Wash your hands before and after removing your gloves and mask. Don’t reuse your mask or gloves. Last but not the least, prevent visitors until the sick person has completely recovered and has no signs or symptoms of COVID-19, in order to contain the spread of the virus.