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How do I prevent myself from becoming sick when taking care of someone who is already sick?

  • Have the person stay in one room, away from other people, including yourself, as much as possible.
    • If possible, have them use a separate bathroom.
    • Avoid sharing personal household items, like dishes, towels, and bedding
    • If facemasks are available, have them wear a facemask when they are around people, including you.
    • If the sick person can’t wear a facemask, you should wear one while in the same room with them, if facemasks are available.
    • If the sick person needs to be around others (within the home, in a vehicle, or doctor’s office), they should wear a facemask.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after interacting with the sick person. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Every day, clean all surfaces that are touched often, like counters, tabletops, and doorknobs.
    • Use household cleaning sprays or wipes according to the label instructions.
  • Wash laundry thoroughly.
    • If laundry is soiled, wear disposable gloves and keep the soiled items away from your body while laundering. Wash your hands immediately after removing gloves.
  • Avoid having any unnecessary visitors.
  • For any additional questions about their care, contact their healthcare provider or state or local health department.

The CDC provides additional guidance for what to do if you are sick, how to take care of yourself at home, and how to take care of others at home

Drafted 20 March 2020

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