Practical advice from Doctors and Health Experts for those who live in the same room with coronavirus-infected people.
Doctors and health experts called the basic rules to follow when a family member with COVID-19 is treated on an outpatient basis, i.e. at home.
1. The patient should be placed in a well-ventilated room.
2. The number of people caring for the patient should be limited (one person is not at risk of complications).
3. Household members should be kept in a separate room from the patient or, if this is not possible, maintain a distance of at least one meter from the patient (for example, sleep in a separate bed). An exception may be a breastfeeding mother, given the benefits of breastfeeding and the small role of breast milk in the transmission of the virus, the mother may continue to breastfeeding while wearing a medical (surgical) mask when near the child, and carefully observe hand hygiene before close contact with the child.
4. The patient’s movement should be limited and the total space should be minimized. Make sure that common areas, such as the kitchen, bathroom, are well ventilated. If possible, keep the windows open.
5. The person caring for the patient should wear a medical (surgical) mask that covers the mouth and nose when in the same room with the patient. When wearing the mask, do not touch it. If the mask becomes wet or dirty, it should be changed immediately. Only disposable masks should be used and hand hygiene performed after removal.
6. It is necessary to carry out hand hygiene after any contacts with the patient. The practice of hand hygiene, by washing them with soap and water, should be performed before and after cooking, before eating, after going to the toilet and every time your hands are visibly dirty. If your hands are visibly clean, it is recommended to use an alcohol-containing hand antiseptic for hand hygiene.
7. Disposable paper towels are recommended for drying hands after washing with soap and water. If paper towels are not available, provide each household member with an individual cloth towel and replace them as soon as they become wet.
8. Respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette should be observed – cover mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing with disposable paper towels, tissue wipes (should be washed before reuse). In the absence of tissue paper, you need to sneeze and cough at the bend of the elbow. After each cough, wash your hands with soap and water or treat with an alcohol-based antiseptic.
9. Reusable use of fabrics and other reusable materials for oral or nasal hygiene should be avoided. If this is not possible, clean them appropriately after use (for example, wash handkerchiefs using regular soap or detergent and water).
10. Direct unprotected contact with the patient’s body fluids should be avoided – use disposable medical gloves (preferably nitrile) to care for the oral cavity and when handling physiological faeces and medical waste. Hand hygiene practices should be performed before and after removing medical gloves.
11. Gloves, tissues, masks and other waste generated as a result of patient care should be placed in a separate container (plastic bag) in the same room where the patient is, before their disposal.
12. Avoid sharing toothbrushes, cigarettes, sharing dishes and bedding. Dishes must be washed with soap or detergent and water and reused (do not throw away / dispose of dishes).
13. It is necessary to clean and disinfect daily surfaces in the immediate vicinity of the patient with the usual household detergent and disinfectant.
14. It is necessary to clean and disinfect the surfaces of the bathroom and toilet at least once a day with a regular household detergent and disinfectant.
15. It is necessary to wash clothes, bed linen, towels for a bath and hands of patients using usual soap and water. For machine washing, it is recommended to set the temperature to 60-90 ° C and use regular washing powders. After washing, any items must be thoroughly dried. Contaminated linen is allowed to be collected in a common clothes basket. It is forbidden to shake dirty linen. Direct contact of skin and clothing with contaminated linen should be avoided.
16. Disposable medical gloves and a disposable apron should be used when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, clothing or linen contaminated with the patient’s biological fluids. Wash hands before and after removing medical gloves.
17. Persons who have symptoms of the disease should stay at home until they have been diagnosed with the disease based on clinical and / or laboratory results.
18. All members of the household are considered contact persons.
19. If a household member develops symptoms of an acute respiratory infection, with fever, cough, sore throat and difficulty breathing, they should be treated as a suspected COVID-19 patient.