Creating a COVID-19 Quarantine/Isolation Room  

6 steps to take if a family member gets sick

What if you’ve listened to the experts, taken all the precautions, and barely left your home? And then, it happens, the unthinkable—the novel coronavirus disease, aka COVID-19, has made it into your home.

While dealing with a potentially deadly illness can be scary, it’s an unfortunate reality that we’ve all been forced to grasp this year. But don’t worry, here at harbor we believe in the power of readiness and calm in the face of any uncertainty.

We’ll walk you through exactly what you need to do.

First things first, continue to stay home.

Even with the recent breakthroughs and promise of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine, our collective fight against this nasty pandemic is not over yet. The United States now has more than 11 million confirmed COVID-19 infections and with the holidays upon us, we’re heading towards an upward trend.

The good news is that according to the CDC, most people who contract COVID-19 have mild symptoms and are able to recover at home without medical care.

However, because it is a disease that is spread through respiratory droplets and close contact with other individuals, if you or someone in your home has COVID-19, the most important thing to do to protect the other people in your home and your community is to stay home.

Isolation vs. Quarantine

Let’s distinguish between quarantine and isolation. Although they are often used interchangeably, they do not mean the same thing.

The purpose of isolation is to keep someone who tested positive for COVID-19 away from others to ensure that other people don’t get infected. The purpose of quarantine is to control the spread of the virus by restricting the movement of people who were exposed to someone who has COVID-19.

In both scenarios, if you don’t live alone, the number one recommendation from health experts is to keep these individuals away from everyone else in quarantine or isolation rooms—kinda like creating a mini-hospital in your house.

  6 steps to take if a family member gets sick

#1: Choose your mini-hospital room

Choose one area/room in your home where a sick family member/roommate can quarantine or isolate away from everyone else. When possible, pick a room in your home that’s farthest from everyone else. If they have to leave the designated area for any reason, they should wear a mask and stay at least six feet away from everyone else in the home.

#2: Pick your sick bathroom

If you have more than one bathroom in your home, designate one of them as the sick bathroom, and don’t let anyone else use it. If your bathroom is shared, you want to be extra-sure to disinfect key touchpoints like faucet handles and doorknobs with alcohol, bleach, or other sanitizers after each use.

#3: Handle laundry with care

When handling the dirty clothes of an infected person, make sure to keep their clothes separate from the rest of the laundry. Whoever is handling them should wear protective clothing, such as a facemask and disposable nitrile gloves.

#4: Now isn’t the time for family dinners

Meals and supplies should be provided to the person in quarantine or isolation carefully. You can leave meals at the door for them and then maintain a safe distance. When finished, they can do the same with the used dishes. When they're away from the door, you can retrieve them.

#5: Disinfectants are your best friend

Grab your reusable or disposable gloves and mask and create a cleaning and disinfecting routine. Cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces are even more important when someone in the house is isolated or quarantined.

Regularly disinfect these key areas:
- Entrances and exits: light switches and doorknobs
- Electronics: phones, remote controls, keyboards, and touch screens
- Kitchen: counters, drawer pulls, and cabinet handles
- Furniture: tables, desks, and chairs
- Bathroom: toilets, faucets, and sinks

#6: Stock up on essential pandemic supplies

Having a little extra can be extraordinarily helpful in keeping your family safe and healthy long term.

We know, having to quarantine or isolate a loved one can be scary and lonely. Just keep in mind that you're doing all you can do to keep everyone as safe and healthy as possible.

No matter what, remember:

don’t worry. be ready.