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Caring for Someone with COVID-19 at Home

Most patients with COVID-19 will be cared for at home. During this time, it is important to:

  • Treat symptoms according to doctor’s instructions.
  • Watch for signs of worsening illness.
  • Prevent the spread of COVID-19 to others.

What is Home Isolation?

Home isolation means that a patient has confirmed or suspected COVID-19 and is being cared for at home. Patients should stay at home and be isolated from others until symptoms have improved and they are no longer contagious. During this time, it is important to take steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This is especially important if other household members are at risk for serious illness.

How to Care for Someone with COVID-19

  • Know what symptoms to expect. Common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Other symptoms include fatigue, body aches, and chills. Some patients may have runny nose, decreased sense of smell and/or taste, nausea, or diarrhea. There is no medicine that will treat the virus or make symptoms go away completely.
  • Make sure the patient drinks plenty of fluids and stays hydrated.
  • Encourage the patient to rest.
  • Treat symptoms using over-the-counter medicines as recommended by your doctor.
  • Monitor symptoms, and watch for emergency warning signs:
    • Trouble breathing
    • Pain or pressure in the chest that will not stop
    • Confusion or lethargy
    • Lips or face turning blue

Talk to your doctor about any symptoms that concern you. This list includes some of the more common warning signs. There may be others. In a medical emergency, call 911. Be sure to let the dispatch personnel and responders know that the patient has COVID-19.