Tips & info from Osler experts

Nutrition / Education / Health & Wellness / Safety & Prevention

How to care for someone with COVID-19

If you live with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, or is isolating while awaiting test results, there are several things you can do to keep yourself safe while caring for them.

Being served a tray of food in bed

Have only one designated caretaker

To avoid potential spread and keep the household as safe as possible, designate only one person to care for the individual who has COVID-19 or is under investigation.

Wash hands often

Wash your hands with soap and water often, but if not available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer.

Wear a mask and gloves

Make sure you are fully protected when you have contact with the individual’s saliva or other bodily fluids.

Make sure to dispose of the gloves and mask right away after providing care (put into a wastebasket lined with a plastic bag). Make sure to wash your hands before touch your face or doing anything else.

Avoid sharing household items

Do not share dish ware, towels, bedding, or other items with the individual who has or is under investigation for COVID-19. Items used should be watched with soap or detergent in warm water (dishwashers and washing machines can be used).

Take extra precautions when performing household chores like:

  • Cleaning - Clean your home often with standard household cleaners, especially frequently touched items (toilets, tap handles, light switches, remote controls).
  • Laundry - Items do not need to be separated, but make sure to wear gloves while handling.
  • Taking out the trash - Avoid touching contents and clean hands afterwards.

If you have the space, isolate the individual away from others

Have a designated area where the individual is separate from the rest of the household. This includes using a separate bathroom, if possible. If space isn’t available, keep at least 6 feet away from others and ensure you are following the above suggestions closely.

Source: Osler’s Infectious Diseases team, City of Toronto, CDC