As cases of COVID-19 continue to grow, more and more Canadians are being asked to avoid contact with others and to isolate themselves if they have symptoms, are waiting for test results or have been diagnosed with the illness. But what exactly does it mean to isolate at home?
Avoid physical contact. Those isolating at home must limit physical contact with others within their space, including pets, and leave their home only if absolutely necessary. It is recommended that you stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom from others, if possible. It is most critical to avoid contact with older adults or people in poor health, such as those suffering from a chronic disease.
Maintain good hygiene. Practicing good hygiene can help protect friends, roommates and others living with you. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and dry them with disposable paper towels or a dry reusable towel, replacing it when it becomes wet. Do your best to avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, and do not share personal items with others. And always cough or sneeze into the crease of your arm or a tissue, disposing of the used tissue immediately.
Disinfect your home. Cleaning and disinfecting your home plays an important role. Use disinfectants and hand sanitizers. A list is available on the government of Canada’s website. Don’t forget those surfaces that we touch every day, such as toilets, bedside tables, doorknobs, phones and television remotes. Place items that cannot be cleaned in a lined container, secure the contents and dispose of them with other household waste.
Take care of yourself. Caring for yourself is an important part of practicing isolation. Monitor your symptoms as directed by your health-care provider and immediately contact them if your symptoms get worse. Get some rest, eat a balanced diet and remember you are not alone. Use technology to stay in touch with friends, support networks and family.