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Living with someone who’s self-quarantining

March 10, 2020: Do you live with someone who has been asked to self-quarantine because of possible exposure to COVID-19? What does that mean for you and other members of your household?

Self-quarantining in a living space that is shared with others can be difficult, but it’s not impossible.

Even though the person you live with does not have symptoms, self-quarantining means separating as much as possible from other people sharing the living space. They should stay in their own bedroom and, if possible, use a bathroom that is not shared with others. If there’s only one bathroom, set up a bathroom rotation in which the self-quarantining individual uses the bathroom last and then disinfects it thoroughly (read more about proper disinfection techniques). If the self-quarantining individual needs to come out of their room for any reason, they should wash their hands and wear a mask. 

Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces frequently. This includes countertops, doorknobs, light switches, and bathroom surfaces. Wash your hands frequently.

Do not share any items with the self-quarantining individual. This includes dishes, drinking glasses, silverware, towels, phones, and remote controls. If possible, use a dishwasher to clean and dry dishes and silverware used by the self-quarantining individual. If this is not possible, wash them by hand using detergent and warm water. Dry them thoroughly, using a separate dishtowel.

The self-quarantining individual should vigilantly self-monitor for possible symptoms. But as long as all members of your household are following these self-quarantine and hygiene guidelines closely, you can continue to participate in your normal activities outside of the home while someone at home is self-quarantining. You should simply follow the same social distancing and hygiene guidelines we’re recommending for everyone at this time. 

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