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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
*updated 1/6/2022

As the omicron variant spreads following a busy holiday season, you probably know people in your network with COVID-19 right now. If it happens in your household, there’s no need to panic. If you are a healthy individual who has been fully vaccinated, you can safely care for a COVID family member. The CDC guidance has changed throughout the pandemic, so here is the latest information to keep you safe:

  • 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 if you do interact.
  • Watch for symptoms of COVID and get tested if you start to have any. If you can’t get in to see your doctor or secure a reliable COVID test, assume you are positive and begin your isolation period from the onset of your symptoms.
  • For the loved one with COVID, he or she can end their isolation after five days from the onset of symptoms, while continuing to wear a well-fitting mask for an additional five days.
  • After the isolation period, a negative test is not needed if you are fever-free and your symptoms have improved.
  • Continue to practice hand hygiene and keep the environment clean.

Many people are reporting shorter, milder bouts of COVID with the omicron variant. Simply treating the cold-like symptoms with over-the-counter medication and plenty of fluids and rest is all you’ll need. But, if your loved one does need help while managing their symptoms, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Pick a ‘sick’ room and bathroom- Keeping the sick isolated is important in preventing the spread of germs. If you don’t have an additional bathroom, clean high-touch surfaces after each use.
  • 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. Just wash your hands after.
  • 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.

Being fully vaccinated and boosted, along with masking, hand washing and avoiding large crowds, is your best protection against COVID. For information on getting a vaccine, visit