TIPS ON CARING FOR SOMEONE IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD WHO HAS COVID-19

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By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

Image by Engin Akyurt at Pixabay

Nov. 21, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- The number of COVID-19 positive cases in the San Diego region is increasing.  Currently the County of San Diego reports 68, 203 cases and 952 deaths. Chances are increasing that you will be taking care of someone in your household, or even monitoring your own symptoms if you were exposed.

Should you do laundry with gloves? Spray disinfectant on handles and doorknobs? Wear masks inside? How do you isolate someone in your family? Check with your doctor for details and consider the tips below.

According to the guidelines set forth by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) here are the tips they suggest

  • Provide Support – help cover basic needs.

  • Help the person who is sick follow their doctor’s instructions for care and medicine.

  • See if over-the-counter medicines for fever help the person feel better.

  • Make sure the person who is sick drinks a lot of fluids and rests.

  • Help them with grocery shopping, filling prescriptions, and getting other items they need.  Consider having the items delivered through a delivery service, if possible.

  • Take care of their pet(s), and limit contact between the person who is sick and their pet(s) when possible. 

Some healthcare providers and insurers now recommend buying a fingertip pulse oxymeter to measure oxygen levels of anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19, since oxygen levels can drop quickly. These cost around $25 to $35 online. Ask your healthcare provider at what level you should seek emergency care.

The CDC also suggests protecting yourself:

 -Limit contact, clean your hands often, eat in separate areas, wash and dry laundry, avoid sharing personal items, use lined trash can, and the person who is sick should wear a mask when they are around other people at home. 

Recommendations for caregivers:

 -Put on a mask and ask the sick person to put on a mask before entering the room.

 -Wear gloves when you touch or have contact with the sick person’s blood, stool, or body fluids such as saliva, mucus, vomit, or urine. Throw the gloves into a lined trash can and wash your hands right away.

Additionally, wash hands, use hand sanitizer, and hands off touching your face. 

Around the house CDC tips:

 -Clean and disinfect “high-touch” surfaces and items every day.  This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks and electronics.

-Clean the area or item with soap and water and then use a household disinfectant. 

If sharing a bathroom, the person who is sick should clean and disinfect after each use if able. If this is not possible, wear a mask and wait as long as possible after the sick person has used the bathroom before coming in to clean and use the bathroom.

For laundry:  do not shake dirty laundry.  Wear disposable gloves while handling dirty laundry.  Dirty laundry from a person who is sick can be used with other people’s items. Dry laundry, on hot if possible, completely. 

Track your own health and the sick person’s health.  If conditions change immediately contact your health provider.

For further instructions and details visit the link below. 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/care-for-someo...

 

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