Learning that someone in your home has tested positive for covid-19 can be a scary experience, but knowing how to handle the situation can help keep you healthy and make everyone more comfortable in a stressful situation. Here is an 8-step guide on what to do if the situation arises.
- Get tested. Living with someone who has tested positive leaves you at a high risk of exposure, so it’s a good idea to get tested for covid-19. Even if you test negative, sensitivity to tests doesn’t peak until 5 to 7 days after exposure, so it’s still a good idea to self isolate and quarantine for two weeks.
- Limit contact. Even if you test negative, you are still living in a high exposure environment. CDC guidelines state that the infected person should isolate within the home, use a separate bathroom if possible, and stay six feet away from other residents.
- Keep the windows open. It is understood that the virus can be airborne, so you should leave windows open to the extent that outdoor conditions will allow. This will help ventilate the space and reduce the risk of infection.
- Wear a mask. Having both the infected person and other members of the house wear face coverings prevents the dissipation of respiratory infections. Although it does not protect you from the infected person entirely, it does significantly reduce the risk of transmission.
- Wash hands and disinfect surfaces. Wash your hands frequently and disinfect commonly-used surfaces like counters, door handles, sinks, and light switches.
- Eat healthy. The food we eat fuels our immune systems. Eating a varied diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables ensures you get the nutrients needed to keep your immune system in top shape.
- Read trusted sources. There is a lot of misinformation circulating about covid-19 and its treatment. Rely on trusted medical sources, like the CDC, if you have questions or concerns.
- Talk to a friend. Testing positive for covid-19, or living with someone who has, can carry a lot of emotional burdens. Stress, anxiety, and loneliness are not uncommon. Consider calling or video chatting with a friend to relieve some stress and talk it out. If you know someone else who has had the same experience, they can be a great resource for support and advice.