How to Care for a COVID-19 Patient at Home

COVID-19

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 items with the ill person, such as toothbrushes, towels, bed linen, utensils or electronic devices.
  • If at all possible, try to ensure that the ill person has a designated bedroom and bathroom.
  • If not possible to have a separate bathroom, the ill person should put the toilet lid down before flushing. Clean the bathroom as needed after use by the ill person.

Protect yourself

  • If possible, people who are at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19 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 ill individual, as much as possible.
  • If you need to be within 2 metres of the ill person, wear a mask, disposable gloves and eye protection.
  • Wear disposable gloves when touching the ill person, their environment and soiled items or surfaces.
  • 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.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

Keep your environment clean

  • Place used masks, gloves and other contaminated items in a lined container, secure the contents and dispose of them with other household waste.
  • 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 ill 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 ill person.

If you develop symptoms, isolate immediately and take the online COVID-19 self-assessment to determine whether you should be tested for COVID-19.