Guidance for Home Isolation of Patients with Suspected/Confirmed COVID-19

Public Health Services Communicable Disease Control

Guidance for Home Isolation of Patients with Suspected/Confirmed COVID-19

Stay home except to get urgent medical care

People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to isolate at home while ill. Refrain from activities outside the home, except for getting urgent medical care. Do not go to work, school, or public areas. Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.

Call ahead before visiting your doctor

If you have an urgent medical appointment that cannot be delayed, call the healthcare provider and tell them that you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.

Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home

People : As much as possible, you should stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home.When you cannot be in another room, stay at least 6 feet away from others.  Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available.Do not have visitors in your house.

Animals You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus.

Wear a facemask

You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) or pets and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), or don’t have one, use tissues to cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing, then throw the tissues away and sanitize your hands.

Cover your coughs and sneezes

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze . Throw used tissues in a lined trash can. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or, if soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Clean your hands often

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Soap and water are the best option if hands are visibly dirty. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid sharing personal household items

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

Clean all “high-touch” surfaces everyday

High touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them. 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 use of the product . See for more information.

Monitor your symptoms

Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening (e.g., shortness of breath, severe weakness, persistent diarrhea, chest pain or confusion). Before seeking care, call your healthcare provider and tell them that you have, or are being evaluated for, COVID-19. Put on a facemask before you enter the facility. If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel that you have, or are being evaluated for COVID-19. If possible, put on a facemask before emergency medical services arrive .

Discontinuing home isolation

If you have confirmed or suspected (and have not had the test) COVID-19, you should remain under home isolation for at least 7 days after your illness onset, and before going off of isolation, you should have no fever for 3 days (without using medicines like Tylenol or ibuprofen to lower your fever) and have improvement in your symptoms. Only people with very mild disease due to COVID-19 are ready to be released from isolation by 7 days; many still have fevers or significant symptoms at 7 days, so you should isolate until fever is gone for 3 days and symptoms are definitely improving. Mild symptoms like cough may linger for weeks; you do not need to isolate until all your symptoms are gone. If you have questions about the duration of your isolation, talk to your doctor.

Modified from CDC document :

Updated 03.26.20