What should you do if someone in your home has COVID-19? BCCDC offers tips
The BCCDC says counters and handles should be cleaned regularly if someone in your home has COVID-19. (Shutterstock)
VANCOUVER -- With thousands of people in B.C. under active public health monitoring because of their exposure to COVID-19, knowing what to do if someone in your household tests positive can be important in stopping the disease's spread.
As of Friday, there were 4,486 active COVID cases in the province and another 7,699 people were under public health monitoring after being identified as a close contact to a confirmed case.
For those living with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, the B.C. Centre for Disease Control says there are several measures that can help reduce the risk of transmission.
To start, the person infected with COVID-19 should stay in their own bedroom and use their own bathroom, if possible.
If they can't use their own bathroom, they should wear a mask whenever they use one and open a window. The BCCDC says they should also close the toilet lid when they flush and clean counters and handles after they're done.
Someone in the house should leave food outside their bedroom and should only go in if they need assistance.
Everyone in the house – whether they've tested positive for COVID-19 themselves or not – should keep two metres apart. The person with COVID-19 shouldn't leave their bedroom to socialize with other members of the household, the BCCDC warns. Windows in that bedroom should be left open to increase ventilation, if possible.
Anyone living with someone who has COVID-19 should stay at home. They should order groceries or have someone drop them off outside.
The BCCDC says a person with COVID-19 is at risk of spreading it for 10 days.
If someone requires medical attention they should seek it. If the person with COVID-19 finds their breathing has become difficult, they should go to the hospital right away, the BCCDC says.
"We are all susceptible to contracting the virus and passing it onto others – in our homes and communities," said Dr. Reka Gustafson, B.C.'s deputy provincial health officer, and Health Minister Adrian Dix in a joint statement issued Friday.
"We all have the ability to care for each other and do our part to break the chains of transmission."