You’ve come in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and you’ve been asked to self-quarantine for 14 days – but you don’t know how to go about doing it. Do you stay in another room? Do you not go out at ALL? Do you need to self-quarantine even if you are not showing any symptoms? Here’s all you need to know.
Do I need to self-quarantine?
Yes. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t showing any symptoms, or the country you have travelled from has reported only a minority of COVID-19 cases, or that you are a healthy person in your 20s – you have to quarantine ie stay at home for 14 days.
Okay, how do I go about doing it?
- Stay in a separate room from your family members and use a separate bathroom, if possible.
- Any shared item of use – like glasses, plates or towels – either should be avoided, or washed thoroughly.
- Avoid having visitors at home, unless absolutely necessary.
- Surfaces which are common, like dining tables, switches, doorknobs, laptops should be cleaned regularly.
- Monitor your symptoms. Check your temperature, and watch out for any sign of sore throat, dry cough, difficulty in breathing and fatigue.
- Do not leave your room, or your house.
- Wash hands regularly with soap, or alcohol-based sanitiser.
- It’s important that not only you, but your family members also maintain hygiene standards, to avoid risk of infection.
Should I see a doctor?
If you see any signs of symptoms, then, yes. These include, fever, dry cough, fatigue, sore throat, headache or difficulty in breathing. You should also reach out to the State and District Surveillance office, once you develop symptoms. You can also call the helpline “104” or Government of India’s control room number +91-11-23978046.
Before you go to the doctor’s office, call ahead so that you can go at a time, when there are fewer people. Wear a mask, to avoid chances of a possible infection thorough sneeze droplets or cough.
How long should I stay indoors?
14 days. That’s how long the incubation period for the novel coronavirus lasts, according to Centre for Disease Control (CDC).
How can I protect my other family members?
By ensuring that they too are following hygiene protocol. Apart from maintaining a distance and disinfecting shared belongings, it’s important that those living with the person in self-quarantine, also stay at home. It’s also advisable to have the contact numbers of nearby health facilities handy, so that symptoms – if they develop – can be reported immediately.