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How to Be Safe at Home When Someone in Your House Has Mild Symptoms of CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)

Information Last Updated: 7/8/2020

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What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a lung infection. Typical symptoms are fever greater than 100.5 F, dry cough, and sore throat.

Can I stay home if I have COVID-19? Or do I have to go to the hospital?

Staying Home:
If you do not have underlying health conditions such as COPD, Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure, or Diabetes, and you have mild symptoms (fever less than 101 and are otherwise not feeling too run down), you can stay home.

Going to the hospital:
Hospitalization is necessary if you have difficulty breathing or your fever is above 101.

Follow these steps if you need to go to the hospital:

  • Call ahead and tell them you are coming.
  • Avoid taking public transportation (taxis, Uber, Lyft, bus).
  • Drive with all windows open.

General rules for the sick person:

  • The mouth and nose should be covered with a disposable paper tissue when coughing or sneezing. then the tissue should be thrown in the trash. Wash your hands thoroughly with hot soapy water.
  • The sick person should stay separated from others in the house while sick and for an additional 2 weeks.
  • If the sick person must be in a shared spaced with others in the house, the sick person must keep at least 3 feet distance while sick and for an additional 2 weeks.
  • Do not share toothbrushes, cigarettes, eating utensils, dishes, drinks, towels, and bed linens. After the person is done being sick and 2 additional weeks have passed, replace the sick person’s toothbrush.

How can I prepare for when someone in my home is sick with COVID-19?

It is important to keep in touch with a Brand New Day Nurse or Care Manager while caring for someone in your home who has COVID-19. To get connected, if you do not already have a Brand New Day Nurse call Member Services at (866) 255-4795, TTY 711 Monday-Friday 8am-8pm from April 1-September 30, and 7 days a week 8am-8pm from October 1-March 31.

There are several steps to take to prepare your home for a sick person. It is recommended to do these steps while the person is sick and for an additional 2 weeks after the person is no longer sick.

*Important: Have only one person do the caregiving to lower risk of everyone getting sick. The one person who does the caregiving should not also be sick and should not have underlying health conditions. Do not have multiple members of the house caring for the sick person.

General rules while the person is sick and for the additional 2 weeks

  • For shared spaces, such as the kitchen, keep windows open.
  • There should be no visitors allowed in the home.
  • Wash hands thoroughly with hot soapy water when preparing food, eating, touching any shared surfaces, and using the bathroom. If hands are not visibly dirty, an alcohol-based hand rub can be used. For visibly dirty hands, use soap and water.
  • Use dedicated bed linens, towels, and eating utensils for the sick person. These items should be cleaned with soap and water after each use.

Where will the sick person live while sick and for the additional 2 weeks?

The sick person should be separated from other household members. This could be a bedroom that no one else will go in to, or a sectioned off area of the living room that is separated by drape. The separate space for the sick person should have an open window. If possible, the healthy person should keep at least 3 feet from the sick person and should sleep in a separate bed.

What do I need to have on-hand while the person is sick and for the additional 2 weeks?

It is important to have enough hand sanitizer and spray sanitizer such as Lysol so that each time you are in contact with the sick person and their belongings you can thoroughly sanitize yourself and anything you may have touched.

What needs to be cleaned often while the person is sick and for the additional 2 weeks?

Using hand sanitizer and spray sanitizer like Lysol, clean shared high-touch surfaces such as toilets, doorknobs, light switches, TV remote, phones, computers, door handles on the refrigerator, and faucets. Also, the sick person’s bed-side table, bed frame, and other bedroom furniture.

Home care for people with suspected or confirmed COVID-19

Other Resources

CDC Caring for Someone at Home
CDC What to Do If You Are Sick: Caring for Yourself at Home