As the new coronavirus continues to spread around the world, more and more people will be told to self-isolate. Self-isolating, or self-quarantining, means isolating yourself from other people to prevent the spread of the virus. But how far must you go with your precautions to ensure the safety of other people? Here is a summary of the current advice on what you should do if you self-isolate.
1. Stay at Home
The priority when you are self-isolating is to avoid all contact with other people. And, while it is stating the obvious, self-isolation means staying at home. Call your friends and family to tell them not to visit you. If you need any supplies, order them online, but have them dropped off at your door so that you don’t get too close to the delivery driver.
2. Isolate Yourself from Other people in Your Home
If you share your home with other people, you will need to stay in your room. If someone prepares food for you, have them leave the food outside the door. Avoid sharing crockery, towels, and other household items. You must keep the door to your room closed, but it’s OK to have a window open.
3. Wear a Mask If You Must See Other People
If you have COVID-19 symptoms, you should avoid contact with other people. However, it may not be possible to isolate yourself completely. If you do need to see someone face-to-face, keep your distance, don’t make any physical contact, and wear a face mask.
4. Stay Away from Pets
It is believed that the virus that causes COVID-19, which is called SARS-CoV-2, may be able to pass between animals and humans. The virus may also be transmitted via an animal’s fur. So, you need to isolate yourself from your pets as well. If you live alone with pets, keep apart from your pet as far as possible. If you need to come into contact with your pet, wash your hands before and after you touch the animal.
5. Catch Your Coughs and Sneezes
When you are self-isolating, you should continue to follow the general advice on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19. You should use a tissue to catch your sneezes and coughs. You should then dispose of the used tissues in a plastic bag and wash your hands thoroughly.
6. Wash Your Hands
You need to follow the hand-washing advice for coronavirus when you are self-isolating as well. Wash your hands often for 20 seconds or more and then dry your hands thoroughly. Continue to avoid touching your face with your hands, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth.
7. Clothes Washing
Used clothes, bedding, and towels should be kept in a sealed plastic bag until you are tested negative for COVID-19. When you do wash your laundry, you should use a temperature of at least 60C. If possible, you should not take your laundry to a laundromat after you have been self-isolating.
8. Keep Your Home Clean
Keep all high-touch surfaces clean by washing them regularly with disinfectant or a diluted bleach solution. Pay extra attention to cleaning food preparation areas, and items such as TV remote controls, phones, doorknobs, and the bathroom. The new coronavirus can survive for up to three days on some surfaces.
9. Disposing of Waste
Waste, including used tissues, should be placed in a plastic bag. The bag should be sealed and then placed in a second sealed bag. The trash should not be put out for collection until you have tested negative for COVID-19, or when your isolation period is complete.
10. Seek Medical Advice if Your Symptoms Worsen
If your symptoms worsen while you are self-isolating, you should seek medical advice. But, don’t go in-person to a hospital or a doctor; use the phone, or contact someone online.
NB – Follow Local Advice
The above coronavirus self-isolation tips have been distilled from several sources. The self-isolation requirements in your region may be different. If you are told to self-isolate, follow the advice given to you by the authorities or medical professionals in your area.
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