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Here is your COVID-19 self-quarantine guide

Photo by Samuel de Roman/Getty Images
Photo by Samuel de Roman/Getty Images (2020 Samuel de Roman)

The Florida Department of Health is asking anyone who has traveled internationally to look up the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s travel notices and self-quarantine.

According to Alberto Moscoso, a spokesman for the Florida Health Department, the situation in Florida is “swiftly changing."

In this March 8, 2020, photo released by Xinhua News Agency, a staff member walks down a corridor of an empty makeshift hospital in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province. The makeshift hospital converted from a sports venue was officially closed on Sunday after its last batch of cured COVID-19 patients were discharged. (Xiao Yijiu/Xinhua via AP)
In this March 8, 2020, photo released by Xinhua News Agency, a staff member walks down a corridor of an empty makeshift hospital in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province. The makeshift hospital converted from a sports venue was officially closed on Sunday after its last batch of cured COVID-19 patients were discharged. (Xiao Yijiu/Xinhua via AP) (Xinhua)

LEVEL 3 ALERT: High risk

Mandatory 14-day self-isolation and practice social distancing upon return to the United States. Social distancing includes avoiding going out in public and close personal interactions. If you become symptomatic, immediately self-isolate and contact your county health department and health care provider.

Officials are also asking travelers under the Level 2 travel advisory, which includes travel by cruise ship, especially anyone who has traveled on a river cruise on the Nile River in Egypt this month.

A woman wearing a mask as a precaution against a new coronavirus passes by a worker cleaning escalator handrails at a business building in Tokyo Monday, March 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
A woman wearing a mask as a precaution against a new coronavirus passes by a worker cleaning escalator handrails at a business building in Tokyo Monday, March 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

LEVEL 2 ALERT: At-risk

Monitor your health and limit interactions with others for 14 days after returning to the United States. If you become symptomatic, immediately self-isolate and contact your health care provider.

This March 7, 2020 photograph provided by Holly Taylor Coolman, shows a form held by her son James Coolman while quarantined at their family home in Providence, R.I. The Saint Raphael Academy high school student is doing classwork online from home due to his exposure to someone who tested positive for the new coronavirus. (Holly Taylor Coolman photo via AP)
This March 7, 2020 photograph provided by Holly Taylor Coolman, shows a form held by her son James Coolman while quarantined at their family home in Providence, R.I. The Saint Raphael Academy high school student is doing classwork online from home due to his exposure to someone who tested positive for the new coronavirus. (Holly Taylor Coolman photo via AP) (Holly Taylor Coolman)

Some guidelines also apply to residents who come in close contact with anyone who has traveled to the countries under Level 3 and 2 advisories.

Here are the self-quarantine guidelines from the CDC:

Stay home except to get medical care

State governments have asked thousands of residents to seclude themselves from the rest of the community to help contain the coronavirus.
State governments have asked thousands of residents to seclude themselves from the rest of the community to help contain the coronavirus. (Shutterstock)

People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to isolate at home during their illness. You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care. Do not go to work, school, or public areas. Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.

Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home

Coronavirus fears impact on pets
Coronavirus fears impact on pets

People: As much as possible, you should stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available.

Animals: You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. Have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a facemask.

Call ahead before visiting your doctor

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If you have a medical appointment, call the healthcare provider and tell them that you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.

Wear a facemask

You should wear a facemask when you are around other people or pets and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask, people who live with you should not stay in the same room or they should wear a facemask if they enter your room.

Cover your coughs and sneezes

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues in a lined trash can. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Clean your hands often

Here’s how to wash your hands and why experts agree you’re not doing it right
Here’s how to wash your hands and why experts agree you’re not doing it right

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.

Soap and water are the best option if hands are visibly dirty. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid sharing personal household items

You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home. After using these items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water.

Clean all “high-touch” surfaces every day

A housekeeping worker wears a mask as she cleans a room, Wednesday, March 4, 2020, at an Econo Lodge motel in Kent, Wash. King County Executive Dow Constantine said Wednesday that the county had purchased the 85-bed motel south of Seattle to house patients for recovery and isolation due to the COVID-19 coronavirus. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
A housekeeping worker wears a mask as she cleans a room, Wednesday, March 4, 2020, at an Econo Lodge motel in Kent, Wash. King County Executive Dow Constantine said Wednesday that the county had purchased the 85-bed motel south of Seattle to house patients for recovery and isolation due to the COVID-19 coronavirus. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

High touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them. Use a household cleaning spray or wipe, according to the label instructions. Wear gloves and make sure you have good ventilation during the use of the product.

Monitor your symptoms

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Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening. Before seeking care, call your healthcare provider and tell them that you have, or are being evaluated for, COVID-19. Put on a facemask before you enter the facility. Ask your healthcare provider to call the local or state health department.

If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel that you have, or are being evaluated for COVID-19. If possible, put on a facemask before emergency medical services arrive.

Discontinuing home isolation

Patients with confirmed COVID-19 should remain under home isolation precautions until the risk of secondary transmission to others is thought to below. The decision to discontinue home isolation precautions should be made on a case-by-case basis, in consultation with healthcare providers and state and local health departments.

Here are the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines for caretakers:

  • Make sure that you understand and can help the patient follow their healthcare provider’s instructions. You should help the patient with basic needs in the home and provide support for getting groceries, prescriptions, and other personal needs.
  • Monitor the patient’s symptoms. If the patient is getting sicker, call his or her healthcare provider and warn them about the patient’s risk or laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis. Ask the healthcare provider to call the local or state health department for additional guidance. If the patient has a medical emergency and you need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel about the patient’s risk.
  • Household members should stay in another room or be separated from the patient as much as possible. Household members should use a separate bedroom and bathroom, if available.
  • Prohibit visitors who do not have an essential need to be in the home.
  • Household members should care for any pets in the home. Do not handle pets or other animals while sick.
  • Make sure that shared spaces in the home have good airflow, such as by an air conditioner or an opened window, weather permitting.
  • Perform hand hygiene frequently. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60 to 95% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • The patient should wear a facemask when you are around other people. If the patient is not able to wear a facemask, you, as the caregiver, should wear a mask when you are in the same room as the patient.
  • Wear a disposable facemask and gloves when you touch or have contact with the patient’s blood, stool, or body fluids, such as saliva, sputum, nasal mucus, vomit, urine.
  • Throw out disposable facemasks and gloves after using them. Do not reuse them.
  • When removing personal protective equipment, first remove and dispose of gloves. Then, immediately clean your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Next, remove and dispose of facemask, and immediately clean your hands again with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid sharing household items with the patient. You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding, or other items. After the patient uses these items, you should wash them thoroughly.
  • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces, such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables, every day. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them.
  • Use a household cleaning spray or wipe, according to the label instructions. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.
  • 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. Clean your hands (with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer) immediately after removing your gloves.
  • Read and follow directions on labels of laundry or clothing items and detergent. In general, using a normal laundry detergent according to washing machine instructions and dry thoroughly using the warmest temperatures recommended on the clothing label.
  • Place all used disposable gloves, facemasks, and other contaminated items in a lined container before disposing of them with other household waste. Clean your hands (with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer) immediately after handling these items. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Discuss any additional questions with your state or local health department or healthcare provider.

Source: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


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