The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is actively monitoring and trying to contain transmission of COVID-19 by asking “medium risk” individuals to self-quarantine and live in temporary isolation.
People are considered to be “medium risk” for COVID-19 exposure if they have traveled within the last 14 days to a country of “widespread continuous transmission,” or if they have had close contact with someone with symptoms of COVID-19.
Quarantines last as long as the upper limit of the incubation of the virus (the time between exposure and symptoms), which the CDC says should be around 14 days. Isolation lasts as long as the infection is contagious, which ensures that it is free of symptoms and tests negative for the virus.
Here is how to isolate and reduce your chances of exposure:
- If possible, limit physical contact with the people in your home, including staying in separate rooms and/or using separate bathrooms.
- No visitors unless absolutely necessary.
- Use a face mask when going into public places.
- When you need to cough or sneeze cover your mouth and nose with tissue; then immediately throw tissues in the garbage; wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; if this is not possible, clean with a hand sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol content.
- Avoid sharing household items, including cups, utensils, towels, and bedding. After using, wash these products thoroughly.
- Regularly clean “high-touch” surfaces with a household cleaner or disinfecting wipes. These surfaces include: “counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, computers, keyboards, laptops, and bedside tables,” says the CDC.
- Shared spaces in the home should have adequate airflow, so use air conditioning, fans, or open windows.
- Continue to monitor any symptoms you are experiencing. If they get worse, such as difficulty breathing, call your health care provider or visit an ER or minor emergency center.
To determine when to end isolation measures, the CDC says individuals should consult with their doctor or other health care provider, as isolation measures are handled on a case-by-case basis.
Making sure your needs are met while in isolation is easier than ever. Fortunately, we live in a world of Amazon Same and Next Day Shipping, and companies such as Shipt can deliver food to your home in less than two hours. Several independent and big chain pharmacies offer delivery as well, so getting any medications you need shouldn’t be a problem.
Keep in mind that self-isolation is not as dreary as it may sound. With the cloud-based technology available, many companies are not only accommodating those who wish to work from home, but they are also encouraging it.
And if you do get bored, remember that you have thousands of movies and binge-worthy series on streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and many more at your service.
And of course, you could always go “old school” and find a few great books to help get you through.