Isolating at home the right way
- Separate isolation space – As unpleasant as it may be, isolated people must be separated from other household members. The isolated person must be confined to a separate, well-ventilated space, with the door closed. When going out of the space, the isolated person has to cover the mouth and nose with a mask and wash hands with a sanitizer frequently. It is recommended that the isolated person be allocated a separate bathroom with a toilet because the coronavirus can live on surfaces a long time. If all household members are in isolation, then they can use the whole house for isolation.
- Stay in the isolation space – It is very important that the isolated person will not leave the room or the house serving as isolation space, except for receiving urgent medical treatment. This is our way to reduce the risk of infection as much as possible.
- Ventilation – Make sure that the house in general and the isolation space in particular are well ventilated. A good ventilation helps reduce the risk of airborne infection.
- No entry – Household members, who are not required to stay in isolation, or anyone else, are not permitted to enter the isolation space. In case of an emergency, it is recommended that the caregiver be a person who is not at-risk for a severe coronavirus illness (people under 65 years of age without chronic conditions).
- No visitors – When someone is in isolation, it is forbidden to welcome visitors.
- Do not use shared items – Avoid sharing items that may transmit the virus, such as toothbrushes, cigarettes, utensils, towels, and linens.
- Hygiene – All household members must wash their hands frequently. Washing hands is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of the virus. Washing hands the right way (HE)
- Sanitizing surfaces – Surfaces in the isolation space should be cleaned and sanitized at least once a day (including such surfaces that you might not have thought about, such as handles, light switches, restrooms and showers, bedside table, bed frame, and other furniture). People who touch a surface previously touched by a coronavirus patient and then touch their own mouth, nose, or eyes are also at risk for infection. What sanitizer should be used then? Any regular sanitizer for domestic use (chlorine-based or 70% alcohol).
- Cleaning eating utensils – The isolated person's eating utensils (plates, glasses, cutlery and trays) should be separated from those of household members. You may also opt for disposable dishes and utensils.
- Laundry – Although it is still not entirely clear for how long the virus manages to survive on clothes, it is very important to change the linens and wash the laundry at least twice a week. Laundry should be washed at the highest possible temperature suitable for the fabric.
- Disposable products – After using gloves, nose tissues, facemasks, and other waste products used to take care of an isolated person, put them in a bag used only for this waste and keep the bag inside the isolation space.
- An emergency situation that necessitates entry into the house – Sometimes, a problem may arise which makes it necessary for a professional to enter the home and which cannot be postponed until the end of the isolation period. This problem might be related either to the structure (e.g., a busted water pipe) or its residents (medical problem or domestic issues). Under these circumstances the professional is required to follow the operation protocol for an essential worker who is required to enter a home where there is a confirmed case or a person in isolation (HE). This protocol defines under what circumstances it is permitted to enter the house and what could be done to stay safe and reduce the risk of infection.
When can vaccinated or recovered people be instructed to enter isolation
District physicians, the Ministry of Health's Director General or the Head of Public Health may order a vaccinated or recovered individual to enter isolation in one of the following situations:
- The recovered or vaccinated individual is a close contact of a person confirmed positive to a COVID-19 variant of concern, or there are concern for such close contact due to very high infection rate.
- The recovered or vaccinated individual is a close contact of a confirmed patient and regularly attends a facility serving individuals at high risk of severe illness, unvaccinated individuals or individuals with low vaccine efficacy.
- The recovered or vaccinated individual has had close contact with a confirmed patient on board a plane.
The calculator can help you figure out whether you must go into isolation, if you have been feeling sick in the last couple of days, or if have arrived from an international red location, or if you have had contact with a confirmed case; and what duration of isolation is required of you.