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Everything You Need to Know About Surviving a Contagious Pandemic When You’re Living With Family

With most people being stuck at home due to the coronavirus, some would find themselves in close proximity for an extended period of time with family members they live with.

That said it can be easy for an entire household to fall sick when one of them somehow gets in contact with an infected person while out doing groceries and the few other errands allowed during the lockdown. To avoid this exact scenario, follow these safety protocols from the experts at the University of the Nevada-Las Vegas (UNLV) School of Public Health.

Living with an Exposed Person

Unsplash | It’s also recommended to avoid sharing eating utensils and other household items

The good news is that being exposed to another individual with COVID-19 doesn’t mean that one would get sick. Still, it’s best to err on the side of caution and practice certain methods to make sure that the rest of the family stays safe. After all, there are cases when symptoms begin showing up numerous days after a person is infected.

People exposed to known COVID-19 patients are recommended to self-quarantine themselves and limit their contact (social distancing) with the rest of the family. This can be done by staying in one particular room in the house and practicing good hygiene. If 14 days have passed with no symptoms showing up, one can go back to their regular routine.

Living with an Infected Person

Unsplash | If possible, the sick person should only stay in a single room with good ventilation

In the event when symptoms do begin manifesting, the sick person should continue to self-isolate themselves in a separate room. To care for the infected member and avoid potentially transmitting the virus to the rest of the household, one other member should act as a caregiver to the sick.

Like the infected person, the caregiver is also advised to practice good hygiene and wash their hands right away after having direct contact with their ward. Since not everyone can be tested, people should wait at least 72 hours after the symptoms have gone before returning to their normal household arrangements.

Dealing with Limitations

Infected persons should wear masks even while inside to avoid infecting other members of the household

Those who may not have the space or resources to practice the above safety precautions should at least make sure that the infected family stays a safe distance (six feet) away from the rest. A makeshift mask made from a scarf or similar material can also be used in lieu of a surgical mask to limit the virus’ spread. Of course, the practice of regular cleaning and hand-washing should be practiced under all circumstances.

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