In addition to standard COVID-19 prevention recommendations, health care and home care workers should take the following precautions:
- Get vaccinated.
- Wear a face mask in public.
- Monitor your health for coronavirus symptoms (new onset of fever, cough, sore throat and/or shortness of breath) every day and before each shift.
- Diligently practice universal precautions.
- Ensure you are familiar with COVID-19 etiology, symptoms and care requirements. Stay informed about the pandemic through your local health department.
- Wear personal protective equipment and learn how to optimize its use with tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- After each shift, immediately remove work clothing and wash thoroughly.
Caring for Someone Who Is Ill
- Follow the health care provider’s instructions. Care plans may include directions for medications, nutrition, rest and when to seek additional medical care.
- Assist with basic needs. You may need to provide help with getting groceries, picking up prescriptions and other personal needs.
- Monitor symptoms. Call the health care provider and report any worsening symptoms. If there is a medical emergency, call 911 and tell them the patient has, or is being evaluated for, COVID-19.
- Wash your hands often. Use soap and water to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. If you’re not able to wash your hands, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60% to 95% alcohol, rubbing hands together until they are dry.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Utilize the appropriate face masks. As the caregiver, you should wear the appropriate disposable medical grade or N95 mask when you are in the same room as the patient.
- Wear a disposable face mask and gloves. If you have contact with the patient’s blood, stool or body fluids, wear an appropriate medical grade face mask and gloves.
- Do not reuse face masks and gloves. They are all one-time use.
- When removing the personal protective equipment, remove and dispose of the gloves. Immediately clean your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Then, remove and dispose of the face mask, and immediately clean your hands again with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Properly dispose of personal protective equipment. Place contaminated gloves, face masks and other items in a lined container before disposing of them with other household waste. Clean your hands immediately after handling these items.