Learning to navigate the new normal has taken a toll on both people and businesses as we get acclimated to living life with a virus we know so little about. The tasks of adjusting can become even more daunting if family members are diagnosed with COVID-19.
Due to COVID being extremely transmittable the chances of being exposed, infected, or having to care for someone with the virus are high. Therefore caregivers and others who have close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 should follow the CDC guidelines for rendering care in a non-healthcare setting.
What should I do if someone in my home develops symptoms of COVID19?
It’s important to note that COVID-19 symptoms differ from person to person and while some may exhibit the common fever, shortness of breath, dry cough, and/or body aches, others can be asymptomatic. In either case, the first step is to place a call to your family doctor to receive instructions on testing and treatment.
Here are a few other measures you can take:
- Wash hands with soap frequently. Especially after coughing, sneezing, preparing food, and before eating.
- Stay at home. Do not go to public places, work, etc.
How do I care for someone who has COVID without becoming infected?
According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) people who have mild symptoms can be cared for at home without visiting the emergency room. Although those without underlying health conditions typically recover within a few days of experiencing symptoms they may still require assistance while combating the virus. Those with serious underlying health conditions are at greater risk of severe illness and are encouraged to seek the help of medical professionals at the onset of symptoms.
While ensuring that there is limited contact between yourself and the person diagnosed with the virus, here’s how you can assist:
- Treatment. Because a vaccine has yet to be completed, it is recommended that those with the virus drink plenty of fluids, rest and eat nutritious foods.
- Use separate bedrooms, bathrooms, and eating spaces whenever possible. If you are fortunate enough to have a spare bedroom it is best to quarantine that individual to a separate place within the home.
- Sharing is not caring. In the case of COVID19 sharing personal items with someone who has the virus can cause contamination and increase the chances of exposure. Therefore electronics, dishes, bedding, and towels should not be shared.
- Cleaning up It’s important to remember to wear gloves whenever dealing with items touched by someone diagnosed with the virus such as doing laundry, collecting dishes, and/or trash. Wear a medical mask or DIY mask when in the same room with an ill person. It is also best practice to clean and disinfect frequently.
- 14-day isolation. If you have been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with the virus a 14 day home isolation should be imposed to decrease the risk of exposing others.
As always, please visit the CDC’s website for additional information regarding rendering care to someone infected with COVID19.