None of us want to think about the possibility of contracting COVID-19. Unfortunately, the reality is that we will be or know someone that tests positive before the end of the year. Do you have a plan for if COVID-19 happens to you?What will happen in your home if someone contracts coronavirus? Having a plan ahead of time can help protect your loved ones. It is important to have the conversation and be prepared, just in case. Create a personal plan for your household if someone is diagnosed with COVID-19. The plan should be based on the specific needs of your household.
Who is in your home and how at risk are they? Where could you or another member isolate if needed? The goal is to understand what role each person will play in the event your household is hit with COVID-19. Talk with everyone in your household, also speak to neighbors, relatives, and friends who will need to be a part of your plan. Plan ways to care for those who might be at greater risk for serious complications. How can you prevent their exposure within your home? For those that are at increased risk for COVID-19 complications, it is even more important to read available information about monitoring for symptoms and how to practice recommended infection control strategies.
Here are some strategies the CDC recommends:
- Talk with your neighbors, maintaining proper social distance or by phone, about emergency planning. If your neighborhood has a website like NextDoor or social media page, consider joining it to maintain access to neighbors, information, and resources.
- Create a list of local organizations that you and your household can contact in the event you need access to information, health care services, support, and resources. Consider including organizations that provide mental health or counseling services, food, and other supplies.
- Personal Protective Equipment is in short supply but if a household member becomes ill with COVID-19 symptoms it is recommended that the caregiver and the patient wear a mask and the caregiver should wear gloves when interacting with the affected household member. Try to obtain at minimum gloves and masks and be sure to have a thermometer on hand.
- Choose a room in your home that can be used to separate sick household members from those who are healthy. Identify a separate bathroom for the sick person to use, if possible. Have proper cleaning supplies on hand to clean these rooms when someone is sick.
- Create an emergency contact list and keep it handy where everyone can access it. Ensure your household has a current list of emergency contacts for family, friends, neighbors, carpool drivers, health care providers, employers, the local public health department, and other community resources.
- Frequently remind everyone in your household of the importance of practicing everyday preventive actions that can help prevent the spread of COVID-19:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue.
- Disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects daily (e.g., tables, countertops, light switches, doorknobs, and cabinet handles) using CDC recommended products. If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent and water prior to disinfection.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Stay in touch with others by phone or email. If you live alone and become sick during a COVID-19 outbreak, you may need help.
- If you have a chronic medical condition and live alone, ask family, friends, and health care providers to check on you often.
- Stay in touch with family and friends with chronic medical conditions. If you are responsible for the care of a senior loved one, keep in close touch with the caregiving agency and have a back-up plan in case the agency cannot continue to provide care to your loved one.
- Take care of the emotional health of your household members. Outbreaks can be stressful for adults and children. Children respond differently to stressful situations than adults. Talk with your children about the outbreak, try to stay calm, and reassure them that they are safe.
If you need help with planning or providing care for a loved one, please call us at (704) 573-6838.