Recommended precautions for household members, intimate partners, and caregivers of COVID-19 patients
Please follow all of this guidance whether or not you are fully vaccinated because if you become infected with the new Delta covid variant, you can easily infect others even if you never feel sick with symptoms, yourself.
- Perform hand hygiene frequently.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60-95% alcohol covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.
- Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.
- Clean all high-touch' surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables every day with a household cleaning wipe or spray.
- Wash laundry thoroughly, especially when soiled with blood, stool or body fluids.
- Monitor the patient's symptoms. If they are getting more sick, call their provider for recommendations and note that have confirmed COVID-19.
- The patient should wear a face mask when around other people. If they are unable to wear a facemask (due to trouble breathing) you, as the caregiver, should be wearing a mask when you are in the same room as the patient.
- Wear a disposable facemask and gloves when you touch or have contact with the patient's blood, stool or body fluids such as saliva, sputum, nasal mucus, vomit, urine.
- Throw out disposable facemasks and gloves after using them, do not reuse. When removing this equipment:
- Remove and dispose of gloves.
- Immediately clean your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Remove and dispose of the facemask.
- Immediately clean your hands again with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Avoid sharing household items with the patient. Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding.
- Household members should stay in another room or be separated from the patient as much as possible.
- If possible, household members should use a separate bedroom and bathroom as well.
- Help the patient with basic needs such as getting groceries, prescriptions, and other personal needs. It is best to have someone else deliver these to the house.
- Prohibit visitors who do not have an essential need in the house.
- If their symptoms become severe, do not hesitate to call for a same-day Virtual Visit with a member of the patient's Primary Care team or our Urgent Visit team.
Please review these resources to help keep your home clean and protect others:
- Dartmouth-Hitchcock's Important tips for both self-quarantine and self-isolation. Note, requirements vary by state and New Hampshire and Vermont may differ.
- NH Bureau of Infectious Disease Control Isolation Guide (PDF)
- What to do if you are sick and Caring for yourself at home
- Cleaning and disinfection guide
- Coping with stress