Home Self-Isolation Tips

Preventing Spread of Virus: Tips for People with Confirmed or Suspected COVID-19 in a Home Setting

If you do not need to be hospitalized and can be isolated at home, you should follow the prevention steps below until a healthcare provider or local or state health department says you can return to your normal activities. If at any time you have trouble breathing or suffer a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Stay home except to get medical care

People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to isolate  at home during their illness. You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care. Do not go to work, school, or public areas. Avoid using public  transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.

Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home

As much as possible, you should stay in a specific room and away from other people and from pets in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available.

Call ahead before visiting your doctor

If you have a medical appointment, call the healthcare provider and tell them that you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.

Wear a facemask

You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) or pets and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then people who live with you should not stay in the same room with you, or they should wear a facemask if they enter your room.

Cover your coughs and sneezes

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues in a lined trash can.  Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or, 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, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or  preparing food. If soap and water are not readily 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. Soap and water are the best option if hands are visibly dirty. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid sharing personal household items

You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home. After use, these items should be washed  thoroughly with soap and water.

Clean all “high-touch” surfaces everyday

High touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them. Use a household  cleaning spray or wipe, according to the label instructions.

Monitor your symptoms

Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening (e.g., difficulty breathing). Before seeking care, call your healthcare provider and tell them that you have, or are being evaluated for, COVID-19. Put on a facemask before you enter the facility. These steps will help the healthcare provider’s office to keep other people in the office or waiting room from getting infected or exposed. If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911,  notify the dispatch personnel that you have, or are being evaluated for COVID-19. If possible, put on a facemask  before emergency medical services arrive.

Discontinuing home isolation

Patients with confirmed COVID-19 should remain under home isolation precautions until the risk of secondary  transmission to others is thought to be low. The decision  to discontinue home isolation precautions should be made on a case-by-case basis, in consultation with healthcare providers.

Click here for a printable version of these at-home self-isolation tips. For the latest information go to www.cdc.gov.


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