Is your home COVID-19 ready? If you’re unsure, use these tips


JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – If you or a household member have COVID-19 symptoms or test positive, do you have a ready plan for isolating those infected, protecting vulnerable relatives from transmission, and making sure the sick get the care they need?

The first step: Separate, isolate and test someone who has symptoms or who has been exposed to an infected person. Identify early on which household members could be most adversely affected.

Another “now” step: “If you don’t already have a family care provider, see if you can establish one,” said Dr. Bhagyashri Navalkele, assistant professor in the UMMC Division of Infectious Diseases and medical director of Infection Prevention and Control.  “You will need to get information from them on what to do if you are diagnosed with COVID-19, what medications to take, and when and if you should go to the emergency room.”

In addition to advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UMMC officials suggest pre-emptive guidance that includes:

  • Know where you will get tested.
  • Have on hand over-the-counter and comfort basics such as an oral or forehead thermometer, cough syrup, cold and flu medications, and acetaminophen for fever.
  • Designate, if possible, a bedroom with its own bathroom for use exclusively by the COVID-positive person.

If household members must share a bathroom with someone infected, don’t enter it immediately after the infected person exits.

  • Come up with a system to communicate needs so that you can minimize entering the person’s room.
  • Make a plan for preparing and delivering meals to the infected person.

Consider getting groceries delivered picked up curbside. Keep meals simple, but make sure the patient has a healthy diet and plenty of liquids. Place disposable dishes in their own trash bags, empty trash cans in a patient’s room separately from others, and take trash bags to outside cans. Wash hands immediately after handling their dishes and taking trash bags outside.

  • If a sick person requires hands-on assistance, wear a mask and gloves, don a gown covering if possible, and place a mask on the patient. Wash your hands immediately after caring for the sick person.

Place the patient’s soiled clothes and linens in a plastic bag and wash them separately. If you have close contact with a patient, wash your clothes separately with hot water and detergent.

  • If an infected person experiences difficulty breathing or chest pain, if you can’t awaken them, or if their lips are turning blue, don’t hesitate to call 911.


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