Here’s what to do if one family member has coronavirus
As the number of COVID-19 confirmed cases continue to rise, and we know more about the viral disease’s symptoms, many are worried about what steps to do if someone they live with is infected with coronavirus. If this happens, it is imperative to know what actions to avoid and take, and how to care for the person infected.
Even if you do not know for sure if they are infected, assume they have it. It is especially true because most COVID-19 confirmed cases are asymptomatic or don’t have symptoms. Here are the immediate measures you need to take if someone you live with is suspected of having COVID-19.
Contact Your Local Health Department
At early symptoms of what could be COVID-19 virus, immediately contact a doctor or your local healthcare department to list symptoms and ask whether testing is necessary. In most cases, doctors will order COVID-19 testing for the patient.
If your family member has an underlying disease or illness that puts them at risk for fatality, healthcare professionals can advise you what medications the person shouldn’t and should take. Also, the doctor will tell you how your other family members should adjust their lifestyles.
Isolate the Sick Family Member
When one of your family members has symptoms of the novel coronavirus or tests positive of COVID-19, they must isolate right away until the symptoms are gone, or they test negative. Also, they must always wear a face mask because you reside in one home.
Everyone else in the family must deliberately wash their hands with soap for at least 20 seconds after working closely with the infected member. It is imperative to keep your house always sanitized.
When preparing food, leave the food and water at a safe distance for the sick member to collect. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends isolating in a room away from others.
But, for some families, this is not always an option. Even so, try to find a way wherein you can practice physical distancing at all times. If there is only one bathroom, the CDC suggests that the person who is sick must wear a face mask when they leave their room. And once they leave the bathroom, ensure the soap dispensers, handles, shower, sink, and toilet get sanitized.
Avoid using the same hand towel as the infected person. Ideally, separate the bathroom essentials only the ill person uses.
Keep Track of Their Symptoms
Keep in mind that most hospitals don’t want you to arrive at the emergency room for a coronavirus test without the doctor’s directive. In most areas, the number of COVID-19 tests is limited.
Plus, medical facilities or testing sites need to follow guidelines to restrict the exposure of infected people to others. Many hospitals and the CDC recommend consulting your local care provider about the symptoms and the measures you need to take, like buying a COVID 19 test kit.
The following symptoms usually warrant a coronavirus test:
- Bluish face or lips
- Lack of energy or confusion
- Pressure in the chest or persistent pain
- Trouble breathing
Consider Yourself Quarantined
If one family member in your home is ill, everyone else must consider themselves as having a pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic infection. It’s because you’ve already been in close contact with him or her.
According to the World Health Organization, the incubation period for a person with COVID-19 is around fourteen days. That said, you and your other housemates need to undergo quarantine for two weeks to avoid infecting others.
It would be best to have your essentials delivered at your home to avoid going out. The CDC states that once everyone in your household is symptom-free for about three days and tested negative for the virus, you can then go out for buying necessities.
Commonly shared and touched surfaces in your household, like doorknobs and tables, must be sanitized every day, make use of EPA-approved disinfectants to kill the virus. Also, make sure that the beddings are washed thoroughly.
For the laundry, wash clothes using warm water. The CDC says it is okay to wash the clothes of the infected with everyone else’s but wear disposable gloves when getting the laundry of the sick person. Moreover, never let the clothes of the infected linger on the floor and ensure to cover a hamper with a washable liner.
When you need to clean the sick person’s room, use gloves, and wash your hands immediately after removing the gloves.
Recovering from the novel coronavirus at home presents challenges if other family members are at a higher risk of getting the disease. It is a significant problem in multigenerational homes. It’d be best to move a person with underlying conditions or your grandparents somewhere else until the person infected and everyone else is symptom-free.