Home Care for Patients with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19

Last modified: May 8, 2020
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The CDC recommends that people who are mildly ill with COVID-19 or concern for to isolate at home during their illness. Your health care provider has decided you can be cared for at home. Below are instructions for isolating at home.

Stay home except to get medical care

Restrict your 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. Ask visitors to stay away from your home.

Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home

Stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Use a separate bathroom, if available. People sick with COVID-19 should limit contact with pets and animals. Have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick.

Call ahead before visiting your doctor

Wear a facemask

Wear a face mask when you leave your home, especially when other social distancing measures are hard to maintain (such as grocery stores and pharmacies).

Treating your symptoms

You can take over-the-counter Tylenol or ibuprofen according to the label instructions to help reduce fever. Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated, and use cough drops or honey to help soothe your cough. Honey is not recommended under 1 year of age. Please call your personal doctor or see options below if you have questions around doses of these medicines. 

Cover your coughs and sneezes and clean your hands often

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues in a lined trash can. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; using the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. 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

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

Clean all “high-touch” surfaces every day

High-touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, door knobs, 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.

Monitor your symptoms

Seek medical attention right away if your illness gets worse (e.g., difficulty breathing) you can access several virtual options in our community:

Before seeking care

Call your healthcare provider and tell them you have, or are being evaluated for, COVID-19. Do not go to your doctor’s office, urgent care clinic, hospital or Emergency Department without calling first to get instructions for protecting the safety of healthcare workers and other patients. Persons placed under active monitoring or facilitated self-monitoring should follow instructions provided by the Arkansas Health Department.

If you have a medical emergency and need to call 9-1-1, notify the dispatch personnel that you have, or are being evaluated for, COVID-19. If possible, put on a face mask 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 be low. The decision to discontinue home isolation precautions will be made on a case-by-case basis by the Arkansas Department of Health.

More Information is available at CDC – www.cdc.gov

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Some of these documents have been developed based on current needs and experiences. UAMS is an entity of the state which may have different requirements under federal and state law than your hospital, doctors, and other providers. This information is provided as a public service in response to continuing questions from various community providers. All information is subject to change as our response to this pandemic challenge continues. Consult your practice or facility leadership before adopting any practices or protocols provided here.