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Coronavirus Information

Posted on: January 8, 2021

How to Care for Someone with COVID-19


Do you know someone who has COVID-19 or is showing symptoms of the virus? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has tips for individuals caring for someone with COVID-19 in a home or nonhealthcare setting, as well as someone who tested positive but is showing no symptoms.

People at higher risk of severe illness should call their doctor as soon as symptoms start.

Provide Support and Basic Needs

Caregivers should watch for COVID-19 emergency warning signs such as trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in chest, inability to stay awake and/or bluish lips or face. Call 9-1-1 if the person sick is showing any of these signs. Additional care someone can provide to a person with COVID-19 includes:

  • Make sure the person is resting and drinking lots of fluids.
  • Help with errands such as grocery shopping and filling prescriptions. If possible, consider using delivery services for items.
  • Take care of pets or persons in the household, as well as limit their interaction with the person who is sick.
  • Ask the person to wear a face covering when around others at home. This person should not use a face covering if they have trouble breathing or cannot remove the covering without help.

Protect Yourself While Providing Care

Caregivers can protect themselves from contracting COVID-19 by following these CDC tips:

  • Limit contact and access to shared bathrooms and bedrooms.
  • Eat in a separate rooms. Wash dishes and utensils using gloves, soap and hot water.
  • Avoid sharing personal items such as towels, bedding and electronics.
  • Wear gloves when in contact with the person’s bodily fluids, including saliva and mucus.
  • Clean hands often following the CDC hand washing guidelines. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect around the house. If possible, the person who is sick should clean any shared bathrooms or bedrooms.
  • Use disposable gloves when handling dirty laundry. Wash hands immediately after any handling of dirty and clean clothes, as well as disinfect clothes hampers.
  • Use a lined trash can when disposing gloves, facemasks or other contaminated items. If possible, dedicate a lined trash can for the person who is sick.
  • Track your own health and watch for any COVID-19 symptoms. Caregivers also should continue to stay home after care is complete for at least 14 days.

For a more detailed list, visit CDC’s Caring for Someone Sick at Home webpage.

View other COVID-19 health resources.
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