Home isolation guide

How to prepare your home for living with suspected coronavirus infections

What is home isolation?

If the person suspect or confirmed of COVID-19 does not need to be hospitalized, home isolation is indicated by the doctor, as well as for his home contacts. The person should be kept at home until the symptoms are no longer present and should be discharged by the medical service or the epidemiological surveillance that is accompanying the case. The person should receive the care of hydration and rest, maintaining the restriction of contacts with people and external environments, to avoid the circulation of the virus.

  • Home isolation for suspected or confirmed cases of new coronavirus infection
  • Suspected or confirmed cases should remain in isolation until the symptoms disappear.
  • Do not allow visits during the period of home isolation. The Primary Health Care/Family Health Strategy team will inform you when the isolation is over.
  • Home isolation requires specific care, such as separation of personal belongings, immediate (self) cleaning of bathrooms after use, and separation of individuals in different rooms of the home.
  • Destine a room and a bathroom for the exclusive use of the infected or suspected infected person.
  • Wipe the hands preferably with a paper towel. If not available, wipe with a clean cloth towel (exclusive to the person in isolation) and replace when the person is wet.
  • In the case of households that do not have more than one room and more than one bathroom, the recommendation is to leave the room to the suspect person.
  • The room with the person in isolation should be kept closed at all times. But it is necessary to keep the window open so that there is a source of ventilation and sunlight.
  • Clean the surfaces touched more frequently every day and also the entire area occupied by the person in isolation at home (example: door handle, taps, bedside table, pictures or bedside and other furniture in the room). The ideal products for cleaning are soap or household detergent.
  • The person in isolation has to change his own bedding. If there are secretions in the bed linen, it should be packed in a plastic bag before taking it to the washing machine or tank. Wash with soap and water, whenever possible use bleach and a temperature of 60-90C for washing clothes. Let the clothes dry well.
  • Keep a dumpster beside the bed, with plastic bag, to throw the garbage away. When the container is full, the person should close the bag and only then dump it in common garbage cans, whether in the house, the street or the building.
  • Choose only one person to perform the role of caregiver. This person should be in good health, without chronic pathologies (high blood pressure, diabetes, etc.) associated or with low immunity.
The caregiver/family
  • should wear a well-adjusted surgical mask that adequately covers the mouth and nose when in the same room as the person in isolation.
  • the caregiver should avoid direct contact with oral secretions, respiratory secretions (catarrh, runny nose, etc.), urine, feces and waste. Wear disposable gloves whenever you come into contact with these fluids and hand hygiene before and after removing the gloves and mask.
  • it is not necessary to maintain isolation of pets. But you should clean (with water and soap) their paws when returning from the street.
How to share the bathroom
  • When the bathroom is shared, the person in isolation needs to disinfect all the surfaces used by him: toilet, switches, handle, flush, box and shower temperature regulator, for example.
  • It is also necessary to remove the toothbrush from the infected person or with suspected infection from the same container as the others.
  • Some furniture and objects will need to be cleaned several times a day and following specific care: the person who will clean the house needs to be wearing a mask, glove, glasses and apron.
  • All constant contact surfaces should be cleaned: sink, handles, tables, switches, sofa seats, chairs and toilet bowls, taps, etc.
  • soap, alcohol 70, and disinfectants* are efficient for cleaning; keep trash cans with lids closed and use a hermetically sealed bag.
  • the infected’ s bedding and bathing accessories always need to be washed after use and dried in an airy place.


WHO, Ho Yeh Li, USP Medical School, and Rosana Richtmann, from Instituto Emilio Ribas Infographic prepared on 02/29/2020


Shared Environments
  • In the case of shared rooms or houses with only one room, people in isolation and others without the disease cannot share the same sofa or mattress. Whenever possible, one should keep 2 meters away from the person in isolation.
  • Do not share the bedding and utensils of people in solitary confinement. These items should be cleaned with soap and water after use and can be reused.
  • When sharing a room, infected people need to have a tissue or toilet paper that covers their nose and mouth in case of coughing and sneezing. If people do not have this tissue, they need to cough and sneeze on their forearm and wash their arms and hands immediately.
  • In these shared environments, the person in isolation needs to be in a face mask at all times.
  • Infected people never spend the whole day in the same room as non-infected people.
  • Non-infected people should seek the home of family or friends for shelter during isolation.
How to identify and what to do in front of warning signs

WARNING: these are signs of aggravation if present:

  • Any age: shortness of breath, shortness of breath, feeling faint, excessive thirst, worsening of the malaise, palpitations, disorientation, vomiting.
  • Child: rapid breathing, poor general condition, refusal to breastfeed and even convulsions.

ATTENTION: If any home residents or people who attend regularly and have mild symptoms, such as a cold need not rush, you can call the Primary Health Care team / Family Health Strategy.

Frequently Asked Questions About COVID-19

Clear your doubts and know how to take care of yourself.



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