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By Andrea Drever

Content and Editorial Director

Testing positive for COVID can be a scary thing. Especially when you live with other people, and want to protect them. Each quarantine situation is unique and depends on who lives in the house and how vulnerable they are. When an entire family has tested positive at the same time, which is not uncommon, they can self-quarantine together.

If just one member of a family is infected, it's important to discuss the situation with your doctor, who can make recommendations to keep the whole family safe. Sometimes positive patients will stay in a hotel while they are contagious. Some cities have hotels already set up for quarantining, so it is worth searching online to see if there is one available to you. Try and find one with a kitchen.

Other times, a positive patient can self-quarantine in a bedroom and connected bathroom. If that isn't possible, all members of the household should wear masks at all times in shared spaces. With a shared bathroom, everyone should wipe down every surface with disinfectant wipes after every use and close the lid on the toilet before flushing. Don’t share bedding, towels, and other personal items

Food Preparation

If possible, infected people should avoid preparing food. If they must cook, they should prepare food only for themselves and thoroughly wipe down kitchen surfaces afterward.

When to Contact a Doctor

Typically, COVID-19 is at its worst around 8 to 10 days after symptoms start. Patients should call a doctor if their breathing gets more difficult or if they experience chest pain. And look for the "shower sign.” Feeling so tired you can’t muster the strength to shower.

How to Monitor Your Oxygen Level at Home

COVID-19 often negatively impacts how well oxygen is transferred into the bloodstream, but patients doesn't always feel short of breath when their oxygen levels are low. Patients at home can monitor the percentage of oxygen in their blood using a pulse oximeter, which clamps on the finger. A reading of 97% or higher is considered healthy. If a patient has a reading of 96% or lower, they should contact a doctor, because it could signal that their lungs are not functioning well.

When to End Quarantine

Patients who are generally healthy and have mild symptoms should follow the 10-3 Rule. Self-quarantine for 10 days after symptoms begin, and for at least three days following the onset of a fever. People who are immunosuppressed or are admitted to the hospital should isolate for 20 days following the onset of symptoms. After ending self-isolation, patients should continue to wear masks when out in public and wash hands frequently.

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