HAE

Prevent Getting Sick

Practice Every Day Actions

  • Frequently and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol,
  • Wear a cloth face covering at all times when you go out. FAQs about Governor Polis' recommendations to wear coverings
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, or use your inner elbow or sleeve,
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands,
  • Stay home if you’re sick, and keep your children home if they are sick,
  • Clean surfaces in your home, and personal items such as cell phones, using regular household products.

Practice Physical Distancing

  • Don’t shake hands. Instead, bump fists or elbows,
  • When possible, increase the distance between people to six feet to help reduce spread,
  • Consider cancelling trips and not attending public gatherings,
  • Follow CDC guidelines on travel,
  • If there is ongoing spread in your community, consider reducing the number of large group gatherings or activities,
  • Discourage children and teens from gathering in other public places while school is closed.

Take Care of Yourself

  • Take care of your body. Go for a walk, jog, run bike ride near your home. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be stressful.
  • Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
  • Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.

At Home

This interim guidance is to help household members plan for community transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages household members to prepare for the possibility of a COVID-19 outbreak in their community.

CDC Guidance - Get Your Home Ready

Call your doctor: If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and have a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice. They will decide whether you need to be tested, but keep in mind that people who are mildly ill may be able to isolate and care for themselves at home.

If you do not have a provider, please visit our Community Testing page (linked above) for information on testing provided by the health department.

Testing is not recommended for those who do not have symptoms. Due to limited testing supplies, testing may be prioritized for the following individuals:

  1. Hospitalized patients and symptomatic healthcare workers
  2. Patients in long-term care facilities with symptoms, patients 65 years and older with symptoms, patients with underlying health conditions with symptoms, and first responders with symptoms
  3. As testing resources allow, critical infrastructure workers with symptoms, individuals who do not meet any of the above categories with symptoms, healthcare workers and first responders, individuals with mild symptoms in communities experiencing high COVID-19 hospitalizations

Seek medical care right away if your illness is getting worse (for example, if you have difficulty breathing).

  • Call your doctor before going in: Before going to the doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them your symptoms. They will tell you what to do.

Follow care instructions from your healthcare provider.

Call 911 if you have a medical emergency: If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the operator that you have or think you might have, COVID-19. If possible, put on a cloth or homemade facemask before medical help arrives.

  • Stay away from others: As much as possible, you should stay in a specific “sick room” and away from other people in your home. Use a separate bathroom, if available.

  • Limit contact with pets & animals: You should restrict contact with pets and other animals, just like you would around other people.

    • Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people with the virus limit contact with animals until more information is known.

    • When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick with COVID-19. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with them. See COVID-19 and Animals for more information.

Wear a cloth or homemade facemask when you are around other people.

  • If you are caring for others who are sick: If the person who is sick is not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then people who live in the home should stay in a different room. When caregivers enter the room of the sick person, they should wear a facemask. Visitors, other than caregivers, are not recommended.

Cover: Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.

Dispose: Throw used tissues in a lined trash can.

Wash hands: Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

  • Wash hands: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This is especially important after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.

  • Hand sanitizer: If soap and water are not 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: Soap and water are the best option, especially if hands are visibly dirty.

  • Avoid touching: Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

As much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available. If you need to be around other people in or outside of the home, wear a facemask.

  • Do not share: Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people in your home.

  • Wash thoroughly after use: After using these items, wash them thoroughly with soap and water or put in the dishwasher.

Clean high-touch surfaces in your isolation area (“sick room” and bathroom) every day; let a caregiver clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces in other areas of the home.

  • Clean and disinfect: Routinely clean high-touch surfaces in your “sick room” and bathroom. Let someone else clean and disinfect surfaces in common areas, but not your bedroom and bathroom.
    • If a caregiver or other person needs to clean and disinfect a sick person’s bedroom or bathroom, they should do so on an as-needed basis. The caregiver/other person should wear a mask and wait as long as possible after the sick person has used the bathroom.

High-touch surfaces include phones, remote controls, counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables.

  • Clean and disinfect areas that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them.
  • Household cleaners and disinfectants: Clean the area or item with soap and water or another detergent if it is dirty. Then, use a household disinfectant.
    • Be sure to follow the instructions on the label to ensure safe and effective use of the product. Many products recommend keeping the surface wet for several minutes to ensure germs are killed. Many also recommend precautions such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.
    • Most EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective. A full list of disinfectants can be found here.

Monitor your health. Call your healthcare provider right away if they develop symptoms similar to those of COVID-19 (e.g., fever, cough, shortness of breath). 

Healthcare workers who are caring for COVID-19 patients in a healthcare setting or at home should follow CDC guidance for Healthcare Workers.

Anyone taking care of someone with COVID-19 should:

  • Make sure that you understand and can help the person with COVID-19 follow their healthcare provider’s instructions for medication(s) and care. Help them with basic needs in the home and provide support for getting groceries, prescriptions, and other personal needs.
  • Monitor their symptoms. If they are getting worse, call their healthcare provider. If they have a medical emergency and you need to call 911, tell the dispatch personnel that the person has, or is being evaluated for COVID-19.
  • Household members should stay in another room or be separated from the person with COVID-19 as much as possible. Household members should use a separate bedroom and bathroom, if available.
  • Don't have visitors who do not have an essential need to be in the home.
  • Household members should care for any pets in the home. Do not handle pets or other animals while sick. For more information, see COVID-19 and Animals.
  • Make sure that shared spaces in the home have good airflow, such as by an air conditioner or an opened window, weather permitting.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60 to 95% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Use soal and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • The person who has COVID-19 should wear a cloth or homemade facemask when they are around other people. If they are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), you, as the caregiver, should wear a cloth or homemade mask when you are in the same room as them.
  • Avoid sharing household items with the person who has COVID-19. Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding, or other items. After the person with COVID-19 uses these items, wash them thoroughly.
  • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces, such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables, every day. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them.
    • Use a household cleaning spray or wipe, according to the label instructions. Labels contain instructions on how to use the cleaning product safely and effectively.
  • Wash laundry thoroughly.
    • Immediately remove and wash clothes or bedding that have blood, stool, or body fluids on them.
    • Keep soiled items away from your body. Clean your hands (with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer) immediately after removing your gloves.
    • Read and follow directions on the labels of laundry or clothing items and the detergent. In general, using a normal laundry detergent according to washing machine instructions and dry thoroughly using the warmest temperatures recommended on the clothing label.
    • Place all used disposable gloves, facemasks, and other contaminated items in a lined container before disposing of them with other household waste. Wash your hands (with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer) immediately after handling these items. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Discuss any additional questions with the health department or healthcare provider.