Tips for Care at Home with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19

Information for Patients and Caregivers

  • Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home
  • Prohibit visitors who do not have an essential need to be in the home.
  • Use a tissue to cover your nose and mouth when around others
    • Masks are preferred but are in short supply and may not be available for consumers
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and dispose immediately in a lined trashcan
  • Stay home except to get medical care
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60% to 95% alcohol
  • Avoid sharing personal household items
    • use plastic utensils and paper plates
  • Cleanse and disinfect high touch areas frequently
    • High touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables.
    • Clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them immediately.
  • How to clean and disinfect:


  • Wear disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. Gloves should be discarded after each cleaning. If reusable gloves are used, those gloves should be dedicated for cleaning and disinfection of surfaces for COVID-19 and should not be used for other purposes. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and disinfection products used. Clean hands immediately after gloves are removed.
  • If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
  • For disinfection, diluted household bleach solutions, alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol, and most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective.
    • Diluted household bleach solutions can be used if appropriate for the surface. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.
      • Prepare a bleach solution by mixing:
        • 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water or
        • 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water
      • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, etc.).
    • For soft (porous) surfaces such as carpeted floor, rugs, and drapes, remove visible contamination if present and clean with appropriate cleaners indicated for use on these surfaces.
    • Wash laundry thoroughly.
      • Immediately remove and wash clothes or bedding that have blood, stool, or body fluids on them.
      • Wear disposable gloves while handling soiled items and keep soiled items away from your body.
    • Read and follow directions on labels of laundry or clothing items and detergent. In general, use a normal laundry detergent according to washing machine instructions and dry thoroughly using the warmest temperatures recommended on the clothing label.
  • Monitor your symptoms
    • Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening (e.g., difficulty breathing, ).
    • Before seeking care, call your healthcare provider and tell them that you have, or are being evaluated for, COVID-19.

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For additional information, see this resource from the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP):