Updated October 12, 2020

Many of us live with many family, friends, or roommates in the same home, or together with children, grandparents and parents.

People over age 65, or anyone with ongoing lung disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, asthma, or diabetes are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19.

If one person at home is vulnerable, everyone should take extra care to avoid getting sick in order to protect them.

What we know about how the virus spreads (CDC)»

Here are some tips for how we can stay healthy, together.

Steps to take every day

Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

  • Be sure to wash when returning home, before eating, after cleaning, and after using the bathroom.
  • Families can turn hand washing into a game by singing a 20-second song together while washing hands.

Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.

Use a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or use the inside of your elbow. Throw away the used tissues and wash your hands afterward. 

Clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces like tables, chairs, doorknobs, light switches, remotes, toys, toilets, and sinks often. When possible, use disposable gloves and/or wash hands after cleaning surfaces.

When you do laundry, use hot water and dry items completely. 

  • Do not shake out dirty clothes 
  • Wash hands after handling dirty laundry

Plan for everyone’s health

  • Make a plan for how you will get care if you get sick. Share your plan with your household. Include the name and phone number of your doctor or clinic. Include information about any ongoing health problems like asthma or diabetes including medications you should take. 
  • Make a plan for who will take care of your children or others in your household who need supervision or care.
  • If you have ongoing health problems (underlying conditions) that put you at higher risk for severe illness, be sure to have enough medications and supplies in case you need to stay home for a few weeks.

If you work outside your home

To keep everyone healthy: 

  • Change your clothes and shoes when you get home. And wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. 
  • If you can, stay 6 feet away from other people in your house.
  • Consider having everyone wear a face covering if it’s not possible to stay 6 feet apart.

young men making dinner togetherIf someone gets sick

  • Try to create a separate space for that person to rest and recover.
  • If possible, offer the sick person their own bathroom.
  • If there’s only one bathroom, make sure it gets cleaned each time after the sick person uses it.
  • Don’t share towels, bedding, food, face coverings or utensils.
  • Choose one healthy person in the household to care for the sick person.
  • Wear a face covering when providing care. 
  • If possible, the sick person should also wear a face covering, to protect others they live with.

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