Individuals exposed to or in close contact with a COVID-19 patient should be quarantined at home to prevent the spread of the infection. It usually takes around 2-14 days for the symptoms to develop after the SARS-CoV-2 virus enters the body. You can be asymptomatic and still have the virus in the body, which can spread to someone else. To prevent its viral transmission, you should quarantine at home. The following precautions should be taken while you are practicing self-quarantine at home:
Stay at home. Avoid going out to work, school, or any public places.
If you need to share the bathroom with others, disinfect it after every use. It is better to use a separate bathroom as COVID-19 can be present in stools and urine.
Avoid contact with other family members at your home. If possible, stay in a separate room with a separate bathroom.
Except for essential needs or healthcare visitors, avoid visitors to your home.
Avoid contact with children, pregnant women, and older people above 65 years, with chronic health problems like diabetes and high blood pressure, and those with a weak immune system.
Avoid contact with pets and other animals.
Disinfect highly touched surfaces of your home with a regular disinfectant or bleach once daily.
Do not share clothes, toothbrush, bed linings, towels, water glass, and dishes with others. Wash them separately with soap and water, and dry thoroughly.
Do not prepare or serve food for others.
Practice hand hygiene regularly. Wash at least 20 seconds with soap and water or use a sanitizer with 60% of alcohol.
Wash your hands after coughing, cleaning, using the washroom, and before eating food.
Cough or sneeze into the bend of your elbow or tissue paper. Dispose of it immediately and wash your hands with soap and water or use a sanitizer.
When the affected individual is wearing a CPAP machine, aerosols or tiny particles are generated in the quarantine room that may cause airborne transmission of COVID-19 disease. Others should not enter the quarantine room when CPAP machine is used by the affected individual. The room door should be closed to prevent aerosol spreading.
Similarly, nebulizer machines can also generate aerosols. Other individuals should not enter the quarantine room while the affected individual is using nebulizer machine.
Practice social distancing and wear a mask if you have to go out of the room for any urgent situations. Similarly, anyone entering the quarantine room should wear a face mask along with the affected individual.
Avoid going out until it is for essential and emergency purposes. If you need to go out, avoid public transportation. Go in your car. If you cannot drive, sit in the backseat, roll down windows, maintain as much distance as possible, and wear a mask.
Wear a surgical mask, if possible, or cloth face covering when you have to share a space with others or have to go outside. Avoid masks for children below 2 years of age. Children between 2 and 8 years should wear it under adult supervision to avoid suffocation and ensure that child breathes safely. Those with breathing difficulties and unable to remove it without assistance should avoid wearing a mask.
Monitor if you develop any symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, fatigue, headache, muscle or body pains, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, and new loss of smell and taste. Contact your health care provider if you develop any of these symptoms and notify them about your exposure to COVID-19 patients. Alternatively, call 911 immediately in case of any severe symptoms.