Coronavirus tips: What you need at home in case you or someone in your family gets COVID-19

There is a chance that you or someone in your household could come down with COVID-19. Want to be prepared in case that happens? Here are some things you should do, according to the CDC and Jessica Dixon, an infection prevention specialist at WakeMed.

Here's what the CDC says you should do right now:

Remind everyone in your household of the importance of practicing everyday preventive actions that can help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily (e.g., tables, countertops, light switches, doorknobs, and cabinet handles) using a regular household detergent and water.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.


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Choose a room in your home that can be used to separate sick household members from those who are healthy. Identify a separate bathroom for the sick person to use, if possible. Plan to clean these rooms, as needed, when someone is sick.

What do you need to have in your home?

Keep the same things on hand that you normally would for a flu or respiratory illness, says Dixon. You can expect with this illness to have headaches, body aches and a cough.
So you'll want the normal things you would use for fever reduction or pain reduction like acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
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You will also need to consume more fluids than usual to keep yourself hydrated. You probably already have access to water but if you or your children like any other kinds of beverages to keep yourself hydrated, make sure you have some of that in your home.

How often should you disinfect your house even if you are staying at home?

Some people also like to use humidifiers when they're sick. A humidifier might be helpful in managing the symptoms.

If you have animals
If you are sick with COVID-19 (either suspected or confirmed), you should restrict contact with pets and other animals, just like you would around other people. Although there have been no reports of pets becoming sick with COVID-19 in the United States, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus.

Take steps to protect children
  • Clean hands often using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid people who are sick (coughing and sneezing).
  • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces daily in household common areas (like tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, light switches, remotes, handles, desks, toilets, and sinks).
  • Launder items including washable plush toys as needed. Follow the manufacturer's instructions. If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely. Dirty laundry from an ill person can be washed with other people's items.
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