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Advice for patients isolated at home with coronavirus

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You are isolated at home because of suspected or confirmed COVID-19. This advice is for you and members of your household.

You are isolated at home because of suspected or confirmed COVID-19. This advice is for you and members of your household.


Home isolation

Home isolation applies for people with confirmed COVID-19 but who do not need to be admitted to hospital.

Home isolation means you must stay at home. You must get help from others to carry out necessary errands.

Be alert for symptoms

Contact the health service, preferably by phone, if your condition deteriorates (e.g. if you have difficulty breathing).

Visiting the doctor

Ring the healthservuce is you need medical attention. If you need to see your doctor or another healthcare service, tell them that you have COVID-19 when you ring. This will help the healthcare service to take measures to prevent others from being infected. Do not use public transport. Inform the healthcare service if you do not have access to your own car.

Limit close contact with other people in your home

If possible, keep at least two metres away from other members of your household. If possible, you should stay and sleep in a separate room to the others you live with. If you have several bathrooms and toilets, try to use a separate bathroom and toilet. If you only have one, make sure that you use your own towel and toiletries.

Coughing and sneezing

Cover your mouth and nose with a paper tissue while coughing / sneezing, or cough / sneeze into your elbow. Throw away used paper towels immediately, and then wash your hands.

Hand hygiene

Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water. You can also use an alcohol-based hand disinfectant containing 70 per cent alcohol if soap and water are not readily available.

Laundry and cleaning

Clean your home frequently. Clean surfaces such as bathroom sinks, toilets, door handles and kitchen counters. Ordinary cleaning products are sufficient. Place used textiles and bedding directly in the washing machine and wash at a minimum of 60 ⁰C.

Duration of home isolation

Home isolation lasts until the doctor says you are free of infection, normally 7 days after you have recovered.

Advice for household members

If someone you live with is ill with COVID-19, you are considered to be a close contact and should be in home quarantine. Close contacts do not need to use protective equipment in the home but you should try to limit close contact with the isolated person.

You are in quarantine until the isolation of the sick person ends, and minimum of 14 days after quarantine started.  Do not go to work or school. Do not use public transport and avoid places where you can easily come into contact with others. Monitor your own health on a daily basis for signs of respiratory infection such as fever and cough. Contact your doctor by telephone if you develop symptoms.

Where possible, there should not be more people in the house than necessary. Limit social contact and avoid visits.

You can help by observing the symptoms of the person who is ill or suspected of being infected with coronavirus. Contact your doctor / emergency out-of-hours clinic by telephone if their condition worsens and inform them that the person has COVID-19. This will help healthcare professionals to suggest the appropriate treatment and take measures to prevent others from being infected.

Good hand hygiene with frequent hand washing with soap and water is recommended, especially after toilet visits, before cooking and before meals.

Remember to wash or disinfect your hands:

  • when you leave the room where the isolated person is staying
  • before leaving the house
  • after contact with the isolated person or any equipment they have used, such as bedding, cutlery etc.

If you have any further questions, contact your doctor by phone for further information.

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