I’m Sick with Covid-19. How Do I Prevent the Spread?
In order to care for yourself and to help protect other people in your home and community if you think you have COVID-19 or if it has been confirmed and you are sick there are many things you can do to help prevent the spread of the disease.
Stay home except as required for medical care
- Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness that does not require medical care and as such most can recover at home. In order to stop the spread of this very contagious disease it is recommended that you do not visit public areas or leave your home, except to get medical care.
- Self care is important and you need to get rest and stay hydrated. Smoking should be avoided. You can use over-the-counter medicines, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to control symptoms. Please follow the instructions carefully and do not use more than the recommended dosage.
- Symptoms that indicate a possible emergency include but are not limited to:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion
- Inability to wake or stay awake
- Bluish lips or face
- If have any other warning signs or if you think it is an emergency then contact your medical provider as soon as possible or 911 if severe.
- Public transportation, ride-sharing and taxis should be avoided.
- Separate yourself from others to avoid spread.
As the likelihood of spreading the disease increases dramatically with the length and proximity of exposure – it is vital that as much as possible you stay in a designated specific room and away from other people and even pets in your home. The use a separate bathroom is also recommended if that is feasible. In cases where you cannot avoid being around others or if you leave your home – a cloth face covering should be worn at all times.
I need to see a doctor. What should I do?
Firstly it is important that you call ahead prior to visiting your doctor as you may be able to have your care provided by phone or telemedicine. If you think you have COVID-19 but cannot postpone a visit to the physicians office then call and inform them so they can be better prepared for their and their patients protection.
Wearing a mask which covers both nose and mouth is both critical and responsible for those with COVID-19
Even if you are at home in the presence of others it is recommended you wear masks. Even in front of pets. This is not necessary if you are alone.
However if you cannot tolerate masks due to e.g. lung disease – then coughs and sneezes still need covering and maintaining a distance of 6ft becomes even more important.
How to best cover coughs and sneezes
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Throw away used tissues in a lined trash can.
- Immediately after it is important that you wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol should be used.
- Soap and water are the best option, especially if hands are visibly dirty.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid sharing personal household items such as cups, glasses, utensils etc.
- Clean and disinfect areas that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them.
- If you are sick you should try daily to disinfect the most high-touch surfaces in your room and bathroom.
- Gloves are suggested. High-touch surfaces include
- remote controls,
- counters, tabletops,
- bathroom fixtures,
- tablets, and
- bedside tables
- When using disinfectants be sure to follow the instructions on the label to ensure safe and effective use of the product. Several products recommend keeping the surface wet for several minutes to ensure germs are killed. Many also recommend precautions such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.
- Most EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective.