By Dr. Thomas Horowitz

If someone at home is sick or has been quarantined due to exposure to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), we must know how to protect the others. Below are a few tips to help you safely quarantine:

  • The person who is infected or possibly infected must stay in a separate room with minimal contact. It is very important to stay away from individuals who are at high risk of catching the disease such as people who are 65 years or older, pregnant women, or those with underlying medical conditions or a weak immune system.
  • Use a separate bathroom, if possible. If you are sharing a bathroom, it needs to be sanitized regularly to avoid the spread of germs.
  • Avoid sharing personal items. Do not share towels, utensils, or other personal items to control the spread of germs. Respiratory droplets can also originate from devices such as nebulizer, sonic toothbrush, or waterpik (flossing toothbrush). These devices should be used in a private or outside area and that area should be considered contaminated for hours.
  • Sanitize any items that are used by the infected individual or those at high risk of infection. Items must be sanitized with a hot dish washer setting or antiviral solution. The time of soak must be adjusted to the solution. For instance, items may be soaked as long as 10 minutes in commercial ammonia products, whereas bleach and hydrogen peroxide act faster.
  • Sanitize ‘high-touch’ or frequently touched surfaces such as countertops, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, etc. regularly with a disinfectant or household cleanser.
  • Wear a mask and practice social distancing. If you are in the same room with the individual who is quarantined, you must wear a face mask. We recommend minimal contact—less than 10 minutes—with 6 to 10 feet of separation.
  • Social media contact is safer. It is important to stay in touch with friends and family even during quarantine. Call, video chat, or social media is a safer way to stay connected while staying away.

By following these safety measures during quarantine, you can help flatten the curve and protect yourself and your loved ones during COVID-19.
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