Sunday 15 March 2020

Coronavirus: How to self-isolate

What to do if you have symptoms of Covid-19, have travelled to a badly affected area, or have been in contact with someone who has the disease

1. Stay at home
This may sound obvious, but don’t leave home except to get medical care (and if you do, make sure you have called ahead). Say no to visitors. Contact friends and family online or by phone.

If you use online shopping for deliveries of food, medicine or other necessities, make sure delivery instructions say that items should be left outside, not handed over in person. If you ask friends or family for help bringing you supplies, get them to do the same.

2. Separate yourself from other people in your house
Stay in one room, with the door closed – ideally a room that has a window to the outside that you can open. Don’t share crockery, cutlery, glasses, bedding or towels with anyone in your home when you have used them. Dishwashers can be used to clean crockery and cutlery. If that isn’t possible, wash by hand and dry using a separate tea towel.
Stay in one room, with a closed door, ideally one that has a window you can open to the outside. Photograph: Alamy

Laundry, bedding and towels should be placed in a plastic bag and washed only when tests for Covid-19 are negative or self-isolation is over, if possible. Do not take anything to a launderette. If you have to wash at home, use temperatures of at least 60C.

3. Food and bathrooms
Have meals left outside your door. If you cook for yourself, do so, if possible, when others are not in the kitchen – and take food back to your room to eat.

If you have more than one bathroom in your home, use a separate one. If you have to share, ensure you clean it thoroughly and regularly.

If you live in shared accommodation (such as university halls of residence), leave your room only when necessary, ideally wearing a mask, if you have one. Try to avoid using the kitchen or bathroom while others are there.

4. Keep away from pets if possible
If this is unavoidable, wash your hands before and after contact.

5. Cover your mouth and nose with tissue when you cough or sneeze
Dispose of them into a plastic bag and immediately wash your hands with soap and water, and dry thoroughly. If you have one, wear a mask when you are in the same room as others, or if you leave your home for medical treatment.

6. Hand washing
Wash your hands often and thoroughly, using soap and water, for 20 seconds Then rinse and dry thoroughly. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

7. Waste disposal
All waste that you have been in contact with, including used tissues and masks, should be put in a plastic rubbish bag and tied when full. The plastic bag should then be placed in a second bin bag and tied. Do not dispose of it or put it out for collection until you have test results, or until quarantine is over. If you test positive, you will get instructions on how to dispose of the waste.

8. If symptoms worsen
Seek medical help quickly if you develop new symptoms or if your symptoms worsen (for example, if you have problems breathing).

(Source: The Guardian)

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