COVID19 – Isolation Guidance

What to do if you are sick with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 infection, or if a healthcare provider or public health official has told you that COVID-19 infection is suspected because you have been exposed to a person with COVID-19, you must follow the home isolation instructions below. These steps will help prevent the disease from spreading to others in your household and community. You should also follow these instructions if you suspect that you have COVID-19, even if you do not have a known exposure. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath.

Notify your close contacts of your illness so they can also monitor themselves for illness (include those you were in contact with 48 hours before your symptoms started). Provide them with the information on pages 3 and 4 of this document: What to do if you think you were exposed to someone with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

Stay home except to get medical care

You must not go outside your home unless you need medical care or in the event of an emergency, such as a fire. Do not go to work, school, or public areas, and do not use public transportation, Uber/Lyft, or taxis. If seeking medical care, always call ahead to alert the healthcare provider that you have or may have COVID-19.

Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home

As much as possible, you should stay in a different room from other people in your home. You should use a separate bathroom, if available. The CDC currently recommends keeping 6 feet between yourself and others, if possible. Prohibit visitors to your home as much as possible.

Wear a face mask

You should wear a face mask (this can be a cloth mask) when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle), pets, and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a face mask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then people who live with you should not stay in the same room with you, or they should wear a face mask if they enter your room.

Appropriate hygiene

Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If handwashing with soap is not possible, use alcohol-based sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol to thoroughly cover all surfaces of your hands, then rub until they feel dry. Avoid touching your mouth, eyes, or nose with unwashed hands. If you cough or sneeze, do so into your elbow or use a tissue to cover your mouth.

Avoid sharing household items

You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding, or other items with other people in your home. After using these items, you should wash them thoroughly with soap and water.

Clean “high-touch” surfaces frequently

Use a household cleaning spray or wipe, according to the label instructions. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during the use of the product.

Monitor your symptoms

If you develop worsening symptoms (i.e., difficulty breathing) you should seek prompt medical attention. Be sure to call your healthcare provider before seeking care and tell them that you have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Wear a facemask before entering the healthcare facility to protect other patients and staff from being exposed.

If you have a medical emergency, call your regional emergency number. Notify emergency services that you have COVID-19 infection.

Put on a facemask if possible before emergency services arrive.

Discontinuing home isolation if you have symptoms

You must remain under home isolation precautions until:

  • You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use of medicine that reduces fevers)
    AND
  • other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved)
    AND
  • at least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared

Discontinuing home isolation if you do not have symptoms

You must remain under home isolation precautions until:

  • 7 days have passed since the date of your first positive COVID-19

AND

  • You have had no subsequent illness.

In addition:

  • For 3 days following discontinuation of isolation, you should continue to limit contact (stay 6 feet away from others) and limit the potential of dispersal of respiratory secretions by wearing a covering for your nose and mouth whenever you are in settings where other persons are present. In community settings, this covering may be a barrier mask, such as a bandana, scarf, or cloth mask. The covering does not refer to a medical mask or respirator.
  • If you develop symptoms, you should follow the “Discontinuing home isolation if you have symptoms” above.

CDC guidance: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html
Contact information for the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH): 1-866-PUB-HLTH (782-4584) (USA)

 

 

What to do if you think you were exposed to someone with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

If you think you have been exposed to someone who was sick with COVID-19, follow the steps below to monitor your health, and avoid spreading the disease to others if you get sick. Specific guidance for close contacts of COVID-19 cases can be found below.

What is coronavirus disease (COVID-19)?

COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by a new virus called SARS-CoV-2. The most common symptoms of the disease are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Most people with COVID-19 will have a mild disease but some people will get sicker and may need to be hospitalized.

How do I know if I was exposed?

You generally need to be in close contact with a sick person to get infected. Close contact includes:

  • Living in the same household as a sick person with COVID-19;
  • Caring for a sick person with COVID-19;
  • Being within 6 feet of a sick person with COVID-19 for about 10 minutes; OR,
  • Being in direct contact with secretions from a sick person with COVID-19 (e.g., being coughed on, kissing, sharing utensils, etc.).

If you are not aware that you had close contact with a sick person with COVID-19, you are at lower risk for infection. However, the COVID-19 virus is circulating in Georgia and you should take steps to protect yourself.  Wash hands often with soap and water, use hand sanitizer, and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Disinfect frequently touched surfaces in your home daily. Maintain distance from others especially those who are sick.

What should I do if I am a close contact to someone with COVID-19 but am not sick?

You should monitor your health for fever, cough, and shortness of breath during the 14 days after the last day you were in close contact with the sick person with COVID-19. You should not go to work or school and should avoid public places for 14 days.

 

 

What should I do if I am a close contact to someone with COVID-19 and get sick?

If you get sick with fever, cough, or shortness of breath (even if your symptoms are very mild), you should stay at home and away from other people until.

  • You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use of medicine that reduces fevers)
    AND
  • other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved)
    AND
  • at least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared

In addition:

  • Notify your close contacts of your illness so they can also monitor themselves for illness, provide them a copy of this document. This includes individuals you were in close contact with 48 hours before your symptoms started.
  • If you are age 60 years or over, pregnant, or have medical conditions, you may be at increased risk of serious infection and should notify your physician’s office that you were exposed to COVID-19. Call ahead to discuss, do not just go to the office. They may want to monitor your health more closely or test you for COVID-19. Your healthcare provider is a good source of medical advice.
  • If you do not have a high-risk condition but want medical advice, you can call your healthcare provider and tell them that you were exposed to someone with COVID-19. Your healthcare provider can help you decide if you need to be evaluated in person.

There are currently no medications to treat COVID-19. If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel that you may have been exposed to COVID-19. If possible, put on a facemask before emergency medical services arrive or immediately after they arrive.

Check, download and share COVID19 Infographics

CDC guidance: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html