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 you could still infect others if you contract COVID-19 but 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:
- 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