How to Care for Someone with COVID-19 at Home


If you are caring for a person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or who has COVID-19 symptoms and has not been tested, follow this advice to protect yourself and others in the home, as well as those in your community.

Limit Contact

  • Only one healthy person should provide care.
  • Do not share personal and household items with the sick person, such as toothbrushes, towels, bed linen, utensils or electronic devices.
  • If at all possible, try to ensure that the sick person has their own bedroom and bathroom.
  • If the sick person must leave their room, they should wear a mask.
  • If not possible to have a separate bathroom, the sick person should put the toilet lid down before flushing. Clean and disinfect the bathroom as needed after each use by the sick person.
  • Do not allow the sick person to prepare meals for others. Ensure the sick person uses a separate preparation area or at least prepares meals at a different time, washing all surfaces after.

Protect Yourself

  • If possible, people who are at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19, as well as those who are not fully immunized, should not care for someone with COVID-19.
    • These people include elderly persons, those with chronic medical conditions (e.g., heart disease, diabetes) or compromised immune systems.
  • Maintain physical distance from the sick individual, as much as possible.
  • If you need to be within 2 metres of the sick person, wear a mask.
  • Wear disposable gloves when touching the sick person, their environment and soiled items or surfaces. Wash your hands after throwing out the disposable gloves.
  • Do not re-use masks or gloves.
  • Clean your hands often for at least 20 seconds, especially after contact with the ill person and after removing gloves, mask and eye protection.
  • Dry your hands with disposable paper towels.
    • If not available, use a reusable towel and replace it when it becomes wet.
  • You can also remove dirt from your hands with a wet wipe and then use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly dirty.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Maximize ventilation and airflow in the living spaces. Even opening a window for a few minutes every hour can help improve ventilation.

Additional Information For Children & Families

All children need love, care and attention from care givers every day, even if they are in isolation or quarantine. If your child develops symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19, choose one healthy family member to be the designated care giver for the sick child to help reduce spread of the virus to other household members. You are the best judge of how to care for your child, and may decide that it is not possible to have only one adult interact with your child for such an extended period.

For more information, refer to: General advice for household members if your child is sick or has been exposed to COVID-19

Keep Your Environment Clean

  • Place used masks, gloves and other contaminated items in a lined container, separate the contents and dispose of them with other household waste. Wash you hands after handling garbage.
  • Place possibly contaminated laundry into a container with a plastic liner and do not shake.
    • Wash with regular laundry soap and hot water (60-90°C), and dry well.
    • Clothing and linens belonging to the sick person can be washed with other laundry.
  • At least once daily, use household disinfectants or diluted bleach (1 part bleach and 9 parts water) to clean and disinfect surfaces that people touch often (e.g., toilets, laundry containers, bedside tables, doorknobs, phones and television remotes).
    • Clean touch screens with 70% alcohol wipes.

Monitor Yourself for Symptoms

  • Monitor yourself for symptoms for 14 days following your last contact with the sick person.
  • If you develop symptoms, you are recommended to isolate.