How to care for a person with COVID-19 at home – Advice for caregivers
-Only one healthy person should provide care.
-Do not share personal items with the ill person, such as toothbrushes, towels, bed linen, utensils or electronic devices.
-Use a separate bathroom from the ill person if possible.
If not possible, the ill person should put the toilet lid down before flushing.
– If possible, people who are at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19 should not care for someone with COVID-19.
These people include elderly persons, those with chronic medical conditions (e.g., heart disease, diabetes) or compromised immune systems
– If you need to be within 2 metres of the ill person, wear a mask, disposable gloves and eye protection.
– Wear disposable gloves when touching the ill person, their environment and soiled items or surfaces.
– Do not re-use masks or gloves.
– Clean your hands often for at least 20 seconds, especially after contact with the ill person and after removing gloves, masks and eye protection.
– Dry your hands with disposable paper towels.
If not available, use a reusable towel and replace it when it becomes wet.
You can also remove dirt with a wet wipe and then use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
– Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
Keep your environment clean
– Place used masks, gloves and other contaminated items in a lined container, secure the contents and dispose of them with other household waste.
– Place possibly contaminated laundry into a container with a plastic liner and do not shake.
Wash with regular laundry soap and hot water (60-90°C), and dry well.
Clothing and linens belonging to the ill person can be washed with other laundry.
– At least once daily, use household disinfectants or diluted bleach (1 part bleach and 9 parts water) to clean and disinfect surfaces that people touch often (e.g., toilets, laundry containers, bedside tables, doorknobs, phones and television remotes).
– Clean touch screens with 70% alcohol wipes.
Monitor yourself for symptoms
– If you have always used the recommended precautions, then monitor yourself for symptoms for 14 days following your last contact with the ill person.
– If you have had direct contact with body fluids of the ill person (e.g., were coughed or sneezed on when you weren’t wearing a mask), contact your local public health authority for further instructions.
– If you develop symptoms, isolate yourself as quickly as possible and contact your local public health authority for further instructions.
Maintain these supplies
– Surgical/procedure masks (do not re-use)
– Eye protection
– Disposable gloves (do not re-use)
– Disposable paper towels
– Waste container with plastic liner
– Over the counter medication to reduce fever (e.g., ibuprofen or acetaminophen)
– Running water
– Hand soap
– Alcohol-based sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol
– Dish soap
– Regular laundry soap
– Regular household cleaning products
– Bleach (5% sodium hypochlorite) and a separate container for dilution (1 part bleach to 9 parts water)
– Alcohol prep wipes
We can all do our part in preventing the spread of COVID-19.