It was declared on January 30, 2020, that a new coronavirus illness has caused a pandemic outbreak. This infectious disease causes respiratory sickness with symptoms including fever, dry cough, and in severe cases, difficulty in breathing. This disease spreads mainly through contact with an infected person when they sneeze or cough. It is also transmitted when a person touches an object or surface that has the virus, then touches their mouth, eyes, or nose.
This is why it’s utterly important for those who develop symptoms or get in contact with an infected person to self-isolate.
What Is Self-Isolation
If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms but don’t need to be hospitalized, you can go home and self-isolate. When in isolation, the following measures need to be observed:
- Not leaving your home no matter what the reason is unless it’s an emergency.
- Not going out to buy medicine or food. Order them online, by phone, or ask someone else to do it for you and drop it outside your house.
- Not having visitors, such as family, relatives, and friends, in your house.
How Long to Self-Isolate
How long you are going to self-isolate will depend on the situation you have.
If You Have COVID-19 Symptoms
If you have symptoms of the coronavirus, you need to isolate yourself for seven days. After the given time:
- If you still have a fever, you need to continue self-isolating until your temperature goes back to normal.
- If you no longer have a fever, you may stop self-isolation.
- You may stop self-isolating if you still have a cough after seven days. A cough can last for a few weeks even when there is no longer an infection. However, you still need to stay at home until you get full recovery.
If You Are Living With Someone Who has COVID-19 Symptoms
If you are living with someone who has symptoms, you need to self-isolate for 14 days from the day their symptoms began. This is because the incubation period of COVID-19 is 1 to 14 days and will take that long for the symptoms to start.
If more than one person in your house experiences symptoms, you will need to isolate for 14 days starting from the day the first person experienced symptoms.
If you have symptoms, self-isolate for seven days from the day you started experiencing them even if you go beyond 14 days. But, if you don’t experience symptoms, you can stop self-isolation after 14 days.
What You Need to Do When in Self-Isolation
The main goal of home isolation is to avoid transmitting illness to other people in the house. By doing so, you should observe special measures. These are:
1. Stay in a Room That Meets These Conditions
- A separate restroom
- Metal and wooden furniture are preferred since they are easier to sanitize. If you have plastic or leather furniture, cover them with a disposable plastic cloth.
- Make sure there is great ventilation by having at least one window in your room.
2. Have These Necessary Materials Readily Available
When starting your home isolation, it is best that you have these things prepared in your room:
- Thermometer – Every day, check your temperature once in the morning and once in the evening. This is for you to have careful monitoring of your physical state.
- Chlorine disinfectant
- Respiratory masks – N95 masks or surgical masks
- Hand sanitizer/soap – Both hand sanitizer and soap are good to have. If you opt for a hand sanitizer, ensure that it has a high concentration of alcohol. A great example is BeCleanse, which has 75% alcohol content.
- Alcohol – This includes alcohol sprays, alcohol pads, and 75% alcohol bottles
- Tissue – It is preferred that you use rolls of multi-layer waterproof tissue.
- Personal or disposable towels – You should have your own towel and not let anyone else use it.
- Garbage bin with lid and garbage bin for special use – These are for disposing of used masks, tissues, and other secretions.
3. During Home Isolation, Evaluate the Changes of Your Sickness
People who are home-quarantined should check their temperature at least twice a day. Observe for any changes and record them until symptoms start to improve slowly. If your temperature starts to drop and your physical condition gradually improves, it means that your health is starting to get better. Keep observing until you have fully recovered.
If at least one of your symptoms persists and there is no sign of improvement, contact a medical treatment organization so you will receive the proper medical treatment as soon as possible.
How to Reduce the Spread of Infection in Your House
Even when in self-isolation, you still have to observe ways that will help in reducing the spread of the coronavirus in your home. Here are some tips that not only you can do, but the rest of the household as well.
- Wash hands with water and soap frequently for at least 20 seconds
- If water and soap are not available, use alcohol or hand sanitizer gel
- Throw used tissues, used masks, etc. directly to the trash bin and wash hands after
- Do not use hands to cover mouth and nose when sneezing; use a tissue or sleeves instead
- If sharing a bathroom, make sure to clean it properly after use
- Clean surfaces and objects that get touched often (i.e., doorknobs, kettles, and phones) with regular cleaning products
These are the important things you need to keep in mind during self-isolation. In addition to these, it’s essential not to panic as it will only worsen the situation. Have a clear mind and monitor your condition carefully. If there is no improvement, seek medical treatment right away.