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10 Things to Do When Someone in Your House has COVID-19

  • Category: Coronavirus
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Baton Rouge General
10 Things to Do When Someone in Your House has COVID-19

As COVID-19 cases rise and the delta variant grabs a foothold in Louisiana, it’s once again becoming pretty common to hear of someone in your network with COVID. If it happens in your household, your loved one will likely need help managing their symptoms. With vaccines widely available and 40% of the state vaccinated, the way you care for a COVID-19 patient in your household could look a little different now.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • If you are a healthy individual who has been fully vaccinated, you can safely care for a COVID family member.
  • We are seeing more vaccinated patients contract COVID recently, though it’s usually mild cases. Continue to practice hand hygiene and keep the environment clean. It’s also important to watch for symptoms of COVID and get tested if you start to have any.
  • If you have been fully vaccinated but are at a higher risk for COVID (i.e. immunocompromised), it’s best to separate yourself from the infected individual and wear a mask when within six feet of the family member.
  • People who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they have been fully vaccinated against the disease and show no symptoms.

Once there’s a positive test involved, here are 10 ways to get through the days ahead:

  • Pick a ‘sick’ room and bathroom- Keeping the sick isolated is important in preventing the spread of germs, especially if not every member of the household has been vaccinated. If you don’t have an additional bathroom, clean high-touch surfaces after each use.
  • Keep them hydrated: Even if your loved one does not feel like eating, make sure you provide them with water and clear fluids to keep them hydrated.
  • Mealtime: The person who is sick should eat in their room if possible. Dishes should be washed thoroughly, as will your hands, after handling anything they ate or drank out of.
  • Help with medication: It is important that the sick person continue to take all prescribed medication as scheduled, unless otherwise directed by their physician. Provide ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help ease body aches or fever. Other over-the-counter medications like cold and cough suppressants may be needed. Record the dosage information and times taken to keep from taking too much too frequently.
  • Laundry: It’s fine to wash dirty laundry from a person who is sick with other people’s items. If you’re not fully vaccinated, wear a mask when handling. And always wash your hands after.
  • Avoid unnecessary visitors: Current CDC guidelines suggest that it is safe to be around others 10 days after symptoms first appeared, as long as they have been fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and all other symptoms are improving. If someone wants to drop off a care package, it can be left at the front door.
  • Help them stay connected and entertained: Most have a phone or electronic device that will allow them to stream movies or tv shows and stay in touch virtually with loved ones. Let the kids do a video call to say “hi” or check-in with frequent phone calls to friends or grandparents. Finding ways to stay entertained and engaged while sick and stuck in a room will help pass the time.
  • Clean and clean often: Your entire home and especially anything the sick person encountered, in the early stages of getting sick or before they were showing symptoms, should be cleaned, and disinfected with a spray or wipes. Common “high touch” items include doorknobs, light switches, remote controls, toilets, sinks, handles on cabinets, showers and the refrigerator, the steering wheel of a car, car keys, and don’t forget to throw that toothbrush away!
  • Ask for help and support: Being a COVID-19 caregiver can be taxing. Asking for support from trusted friends and neighbors is OK. Ask a nearby friend to pick up needed groceries or supplies and drop them at your door. Enlist family members to help with meals by having items delivered from local restaurants. Remember that your own mental health is important. Scheduling Facetime and phone calls with those you trust most can be a great way to cope with your feelings and experiences.