How to care for someone with COVID-19 at home

Advice for caring for someone with COVID-19, including how to protect yourself, your family and others in your community.

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Supplies needed

When caring for someone with COVID-19, you'll need the following supplies:

You should also have the following cleaning products:

If it isn't possible to get these supplies, contact your public health authority or a community organization for guidance and resources.

To reduce the spread of COVID-19, provide care at a place that has access to running water, if possible. Some remote communities may have a boil water or do not use advisory. In these cases, follow community guidance when caring for someone with COVID-19.

Protecting yourself

Protect yourself when caring for someone with COVID-19 by:

If you're unable to wash your hands with soap and water, you can remove dirt with a wet wipe and then use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.

Don't re-use medical masks or gloves. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with uncleaned or gloved hands.

If a mask affects your ability to communicate due to a disability, clear masks may be available to you. Contact your public health authority or a community organization for information.

If possible, people who are at higher risk of more serious disease or outcomes from COVID-19 shouldn't care for someone with COVID-19.

Wearing medical masks

Someone with COVID-19 and their caregivers should wear medical masks in their home, especially when keeping a physical distance of 2 metres isn't possible.

If medical masks aren't available, you and the person you're caring for can wear non-medical masks or face coverings, if you're able to.

All masks and face coverings must be worn properly to be effective.

Wearing eye protection

Caregivers should wear eye protection in their home, especially when keeping a physical distance of 2 metres isn't possible.

Eye protection keeps splashes or sprays of body fluids, including respiratory droplets, out of your eyes. Eye protection includes safety glasses, safety goggles and face shields.

Wear eye protection over prescription eyeglasses. Prescription eyeglasses alone aren't enough protection against respiratory droplets.

How to put on and take off personal protective equipment

Before you provide care, put on your personal protective equipment by following these steps.

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.
  2. Use the ear loops or ties to put on your face mask.
  3. Put on your eye protection, such as goggles or a face shield.
  4. Put on disposable gloves.

When you're finished providing care, remove your personal protective equipment by following these steps.

  1. Remove your disposable gloves and wash your hands.
  2. Remove your eye protection by handling the arms or sides of the goggles, or the back of the face shield.
    • Avoid touching the front of the goggles or the face shield, as it's considered contaminated.
  3. If your eye protection is:
    • disposable: throw it away in a no-touch plastic-lined waste container
    • reusable: clean it with soap and water, disinfect it and store it properly
  4. Remove your mask by un-tying it or removing the loops from your ears.
    • Avoid touching the front of the mask, as it's considered contaminated.
  5. If your mask is:
    • disposable: throw it away in a lined garbage bin, and replace as soon as they get damp, soiled or crumpled
    • reusable: put it directly into the washing machine, using a hot cycle, and then dry thoroughly
  6. Wash your hands again.

Cleaning and disinfecting

At least daily, clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces in your home, including:

Use approved hard-surface disinfectants that have a drug identification number (DIN) or a diluted bleach solution to disinfect.

At least daily, disinfect high-touch electronic devices with 70% alcohol, such as alcohol prep wipes. You may also use cleaning products made for electronics (if they can withstand the use of liquids). This includes:

Use separate plastic-lined no-touch containers for:

Secure the items in the liner and dispose of or wash the items immediately. You can wash items belonging to the person you're caring for with other laundry. Wash them with regular laundry soap and hot water (60°C to 90°C), then dry well.

Protecting others in your home

To limit the spread of COVID-19 in your home, only one healthy person should provide care to someone with COVID-19.

Everyone sharing a home with someone who has COVID-19 should consider wearing a medical mask, or a non-medical mask or face covering if medical masks aren't available. As much as possible, they should also avoid sharing:

Physical distancing

People with COVID-19 should:

People with COVID-19 should not:

Monitoring symptoms

Watch for the start or worsening of symptoms in the person with COVID-19 you're caring for.

If the person you're caring for develops severe symptoms, call 911 or your local emergency number.

Self-isolating

You'll need to quarantine for 14 days after being in contact with someone who has tested positive or who has symptoms of COVID-19. Watch yourself for symptoms for 14 days after your last day of contact, or according to your local public health authority's advice.

Contact your local public health authority immediately, whether or not you have symptoms, if you:

If you start to develop symptoms, isolate yourself immediately and contact your local public health authority (and health care provider) for further instructions.

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