How to Self-Isolate in a Shared Home


What happens when you or someone you live with is diagnosed with COVID-19? While it may be hard to self-isolate in the same house, it's very important to stop the spread of the disease. Here are some quick tips if you are sharing space with someone that is, or suspects they might be infected: 

  • It's crucial for people who are showing symptoms to self-isolate. 
  • Maintain at least 6-feet of distance from the person
  • If possible, avoid sharing a bathroom
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces every day
  • Avoid sharing items like dishes and bedding 
  • Wear gloves when washing their laundry 
  • Continue to wash your hands frequently 
  • Ask them to wear a face mask
  • Consider a face mask for yourself as well

If you do have to share a bathroom, work out a schedule where healthy people use the bathroom first, and the sick person uses it last and then thoroughly cleans it. After you wash your hands, make sure everyone in the house has their own clean hand towel to use. 

Read: How Ventilators Work to Save Lives 

If you are a caregiver and you're coming into contact with the person showing symptoms of coronavirus, make sure the individual has their mouth and nose covered, preferably with a surgical mask. If they do not have a mask, a scarf should work. For safety, you may want to cover your mouth and nose as well, and be very cautious about washing your hands. Also, here are some ways to make your own masks. 

It's good practice for the caregiver to take their own temperature daily and to drink plenty of fluids, and to keep in contact with your doctor about any of your own worsening symptoms, especially difficulty breathing. 

Currently, the CDC shares that people can come out of isolation if they meet these three criteria. Please note ALL three of the criteria must be met: 

  1. No fever for at least 72 hours (without the use of medicine that reduces fevers)
  2. AND other symptoms have improved (like your cough or shortness of breath)
  3. AND at least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared

Ideally, you are able to get tested. If you are then these three criteria must be met in order to end self-isolation: 

  1. No fever (without the use of medicine that reduces fevers)
  2. AND other symptoms have improved 
  3. AND you received two negative tests in a row, 24 hours apart. 

*Stay informed on the latest information on the coronavirus from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization and learn about prevention methods and what to do if you are infected.

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