CAPE TOWN – With the Western Cape having a new Covid-19 testing policy which sets an age limit on who is allowed to be tested for the deadly virus, it is important for those suspected of having the virus isolate at home.
Here are some practical tips on how to isolate at home:
- Stay in a well-ventilated single room (i.e. with open windows and an open door) and household members should stay in a different room or, if that is not possible, maintain a distance of at least one metre from the ill person (e.g. sleep in a separate bed).
- Limit the movement of the patient in the house and minimise shared space.
- Limit the number of caregivers. Ideally, assign one person who is in good health and has no underlying chronic or immune-compromising conditions.
- No visitors allowed
- Perform hand hygiene after any type of contact with patients or their immediate environment.
- When washing hands with soap and water, it is preferable to use disposable paper towels to dry hands.
- Use dedicated linen and eating utensils for the patient; these items should be cleaned with soap and water after use and may be reused instead of being discarded.
- Daily clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched in the room where the patient is being cared for, such as bedside tables, bed frames, and other bedroom furniture.
- Clean and disinfect bathroom and toilet surfaces at least once daily or after use if a shared bathroom.
- Clean the patient’s clothes, bed linen, and bath and hand towels using regular laundry soap and water or machine wash at 60–90 °C (if possible) with common household detergent, and dry thoroughly. Place contaminated linen into a laundry bag. Do not shake soiled laundry and avoid contaminated materials coming into contact with skin and clothes.
- ‘Double bag’ waste such as tissues or disposable masks used by the sick person and store for five days before putting out for collection.
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