Household Sick

Home Care Information

Please see information below on how to provide care for yourself or another ill person in your home. This information is for anyone who is sick, regardless of whether or not they were tested for COVID-19.

STAY HOME, Self-isolate, and monitor for symptoms.

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness.

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms or combinations of symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of these symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Vomiting or diarrhea

If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19, get medical attention immediately.

  • In adults, emergency warning signs include*:
    • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
    • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
    • Extreme fatigue or new confusion
    • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

Stay home except to get medical care

  • Do not have visitors at your home. Do not go to work, school, or public areas. Do not use public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.

Separate yourself from other people in your home

  • Stay in a specific room and away from other peoplein your home. Use a separate bathroom, if available. Clean shared bathrooms after each use.
  • Wear a face covering and stay six feet away from others in your home if you must be in the same room.
  • If other family members must enter your room they should wear a facemask or face covering.
  • Use face masks and face coverings with caution with children. Infants and children under 2 years of age should not wear cloth face coverings. Children between 2-8 years can use face coverings if under adult supervision to assure child can breathe safely and avoid choking.
  • Do not eat in common areas.
  • Do not handle pets or other animals.
  • Do not prepare or serve food to others.
    • You may go outside if you are not coughing and have a private backyard, or private outdoor area that is at least 6 feet from other residents. Wear a face covering.
  • If symptoms worsen, and are not resolved with over the counter medication, call your Primary Care Provider (PCP) and they will determine if you need testing for COVID-19 and refer you as needed.
  • If you have a medical emergency, call 911 and notify the dispatch personnel of your symptoms.

Precautions for close contacts

  • It is recommended that everyone stays at least 6 feet away from you while you are under home isolation.
  • If this is not possible, anyone who continues to be in close contact with you will need to extend their quarantine period to 14 days from the last time they had close contact with you during your isolation period.
  • Your caregivers and household contacts should wear a disposable facemask and gloves if they clean your room or bathroom or come into contact with your body fluids, and/or secretions (such as sweat, saliva, sputum, nasal mucus, vomit, urine, or diarrhea). They should remove and dispose of their gloves first, clean their hands, then remove and dispose of their facemask, and clean their hands again.

Other General Guidelines include:

Cover your coughs and sneezes

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues in a lined trash can. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or, if soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

Clean your hands often

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.

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. Wash them thoroughly with soap and water after each use.

Clean all “high-touch” surfaces everyday

High touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, 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 and disinfectant spray or wipe, according to the label instructions. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.


It is recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus.

When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a face covering. See COVID-19 and Animals for more information.

Unable to work:

The California Employment Development Department (EDD) is encouraging individuals who are unable to work due to exposure to COVID-19 to file a Disability Insurance claim.

  • EDD is also encouraging employers who are experiencing a slowdown in their businesses or services as a result of the Coronavirus impact on the economy to apply for an Unemployment Insurance work sharing program.