How do I care for someone with mild coronavirus symptoms at home?

Here are some tips for caring for someone in your household who suspects they have coronavirus, is waiting for test results, or has confirmed they have coronavirus and is only showing mild symptoms.

  • Limit the number of caregivers. Ideally, assign one person who is in good health and has no underlying chronic or immune-compromising conditions.
  • Isolate the patient from the rest of the household for 14 days in a single room with lots of fresh air at best, or in a separate bed more than 1m away at the very least.
  • Monitor their symptoms and temperature twice a day. They may need more advanced care if they develop problems breathing or struggle to wake up, for example.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, and a disposable or clean towel whenever you have any type of contact with the patient or their environment.
  • Use dedicated linen and eating utensils for the patient; these items should be cleaned with soap and water after use and may be re-used instead of being discarded.
  • Clean the patient’s clothes, bed linen, and bath and hand towels using regular laundry soap and water or machine wash at 60–90 °C (if possible) with common household detergent, and dry thoroughly. Place contaminated linen into a laundry bag. Do not shake soiled laundry and avoid contaminated materials coming into contact with skin and clothes.
  • Disinfect the surfaces they touch in their room and bathroom daily with household cleaners, and after they use the bathroom if you’re sharing.
  • ‘Double bag’ waste such as tissues or disposable masks used by the sick person and store for five days before putting out for collection.
  • Avoid other types of exposure to contaminated items the patient uses (e.g. do not share toothbrushes, cigarettes, eating utensils, dishes, drinks, towels, washcloths, or bed linen).
  • If they still have symptoms after seven days, call their healthcare provider or the coronavirus health line for advice.