If someone in your famiy becomes sick wih COVID-19, a good way to prevent other loved ones from catching it is to have a “sick room” prepared in advance for the two-week period the person is quarantined if hospitalization isn’t necessary.
Prepare the “sick room” by equipping it with items such as tissues, trash can with a lid and lined with a plastic bag, alcohol-based hand sanitizer, cooler or pitcher with water and other drinks, cup with straw or squeeze bottle, thermometer and humidifier.
The coronavirus is transmitted through droplets released by sneezing or coughing and can stay viable in the air in a room for at least two hours. Have good airflow or ventilation in the room in the form of air conditioning or an open window to address this. Keep the door closed.
If you have more than one bathroom, have sick people use one and well people use another.
If the sick person must leave the room to go to the bathroom or to a doctor’s visit, ask the person to wear a facemask. Have facemasks in the room for that purpose if possible.
If there is no facemask at home, ask the person to use a tissue to cover coughs and sneezes.
If at all possible, choose only one person to take care of sick family members. Obviously, this should not be someone who isn’t especially vulnerable to COVID-19 due to advanced age or chronic health problems.
Family members can limit contact by using computers, cellphones and tablets to message and call loved ones while they are sealed safely inside their designated bedrooms.
When feeding the sick person, it’s best to leave food by the door for the person to get and then leave plates, glasses and utensils after eating outside the door when done. Family members shouldn’t share these with the sick. After use, they should be washed thoroughly.
Have medicine already in the room, but out of the reach of young children if they are around. Write down medicine dose and when taken.
There haven’t been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick, but the CDC recommends restricting contact with them while sick with COVID-19 until more is known. This includes petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked and sharing food.
If there is more than one sick person, they can share the sick room if needed.