Home Care for COVID-19 Positive Persons

Taking proper care of people with COVID-19 is essential to help them recover and prevent the virus from spreading.
Taking proper care of people with COVID-19 is essential to help them recover and prevent the virus from spreading.

Caring for someone at home who is COVID-19 positive

People who have tested positive for COVID-19 but have no symptoms should be able to stay at home, if adequately isolated from other household members. However, a doctor should confirm this. Persons with mild or moderate disease can be considered for home care if they are under the age of 60, do not smoke, are not obese, and do not have diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, chronic lung disease, cancer, chronic kidney disease, or immunosuppression. A trained health care worker should assess the risk factors along with the person’s symptoms, medical history and the family’s ability to manage home care. Appropriate support and basic care needs must be provided for sick persons.

What should be done to prevent other people in the household from becoming sick?

  • Household members need to limit shared spaces, follow the recommended hygiene practices and know how to recognize and respond to signs of worsening health. Watch for warning signs.
  • If possible, a separate bedroom and bathroom should be provided for the sick person. If this is not possible, try to separate them from other household members as much as possible (at least 1-meter distance). High risk individuals must be separated from anyone who is COVID-19 positive.
  • Ensure good ventilation in the room of the affected person and in shared spaces. Open windows if possible and safe to do so.
  • The sick person should wear a medical mask as much as possible, particularly when not alone and when a 1-metre distance from others cannot be maintained.
  • Surfaces that are frequently touched by the sick person should be cleaned and disinfected at least daily.
  • The household waste of the sick person should be packed in strong closed bags before disposal.
  • Do not share dishes, cups, eating utensils, towels or bed linens of the affected person with other household members. These items should also be washed separately with soap and water.
  • If possible, the caregiver should be limited to caring for one sick person. This caregiver should not be someone who is at a higher risk for severe illness and they should minimize contact with other household members.
  • Visitors should not be allowed into the home.

Precautions that the caregiver and all household members should follow when caring for a COVID-19 positive person at home:

  • Wear a medical mask while in the same room as the sick person. Avoid touching the mask or face. Properly discard the mask after leaving the room.
  • Wash hands with soap and water regularly, especially:
    • after coughing or sneezing    
    • after using the toilet 
    • before, during and after food preparation
    • before and after caring for the sick person
    • before eating 
    • when hands are visibly dirty.
  • A cough or sneeze should be covered with a flexed elbow or a disposable tissue that is discarded immediately after use.
  • Caregivers looking after a COVID-19 positive person should stay home and monitor their health. Learn when and how to quarantine.

 How long should COVID-19 positive persons stay at home and in isolation?

  • Persons with symptoms should isolate for a minimum of 10 days after the first day they developed symptoms, plus another 3 days after the end of symptoms – when they are without fever and/or respiratory symptoms.
  • Persons without symptoms should isolate for a minimum of 10 days after testing positive.

Please call 16000 to seek emergency medical attention for any symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

Source: World Health OrganizationCenters for Disease Control and Prevention