Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): How to care for a person with COVID-19 at home – Advice for caregivers
If you are caring for a person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, follow this advice to protect yourself and others in the home, as well as those in your community.
- Only one healthy person should provide care.
- Do not share personal items with the ill person, such as toothbrushes, towels, bed linen, utensils or electronic devices.
- Use a separate bathroom from the ill person if possible.
- If not possible, the ill person should put the toilet lid down before flushing.
- If possible, people who are at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19 should not care for someone with COVID-19.
- These people include elderly persons, those with chronic medical conditions (e.g., heart disease, diabetes) or compromised immune systems.
- If you need to be within 2 metres of the ill person, wear a face mask, disposable gloves and eye protection.
- Wear disposable gloves when touching the ill person, their environment and soiled items or surfaces.
- Do not re-use face masks or gloves.
- Clean your hands often for at least 20 seconds, especially after contact with the ill person and after removing gloves, face masks and eye protection.
- Dry your hands with disposable paper towels.
- If not available, use a reusable towel and replace it when it becomes wet.
- You can also remove dirt with a wet wipe and then use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
Keep your environment clean
- Place used face masks, gloves and other contaminated items in a lined container, secure the contents and dispose of them with other household waste.
- Place possibly contaminated laundry into a container with a plastic liner and do not shake.
- Wash with regular laundry soap and hot water (60-90°C), and dry well.
- Clothing and linens belonging to the ill person can be washed with other laundry.
- At least once daily clean and disinfect surfaces that people touch often, such as toilets, laundry containers, bedside tables, doorknobs, phones and television remotes.
- Use only approved hard-surface disinfectants that have a Drug Identification Number (DIN). A DIN is an 8-digit number given by Health Canada that confirms the disinfectant product is approved and safe for use in Canada.
- High-touch electronic devices (e.g., keyboards, touch screens) may be disinfected with 70% alcohol (e.g., alcohol prep wipes) at least daily.
- If approved hard surface disinfectants are not available, a diluted bleach solution can be prepared by following the instructions on the label, or in a ratio of:
- 5 millilitres (mL) of (5%) bleach per 250 mL of water
- 20 mL of (5%) bleach per litre of water
Monitor yourself for symptoms
- If you have always used the recommended precautions, then monitor yourself for symptoms for 14 days following your last contact with the ill person.
- If you have had direct contact with body fluids of the ill person (e.g., were coughed or sneezed on when you weren’t wearing a mask), contact your local public health authority for further instructions.
- If you develop symptoms, isolate yourself as quickly as possible and contact your local public health authority for further instructions.
Maintain these supplies
- Face masks (do not re-use)
- Eye protection (face shield or goggles) for use by caregiver
- Disposable gloves (do not re-use) for use by caregiver
- Disposable paper towels
- Waste container with plastic liner
- Over the counter medication to reduce fever (e.g., ibuprofen or acetaminophen)
- Running water
- Hand soap
- Alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol
- Dish soap
- Regular laundry soap
- Regular household cleaning products
- One-step cleaner/disinfectant
- Hard surface disinfectant, or if not available, concentrated (5%) liquid bleach and a separate container for dilution
- Alcohol prep wipes
We can all do our part in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
For more information on coronavirus:
Report a problem or mistake on this page
- Date modified: