On Oct. 5, I discovered myself in quarantine after certainly one of my two roommates examined constructive for COVID-19. 4 days later, I discovered myself in isolation after I acquired a constructive take a look at outcome myself, however my third roommate examined unfavourable.
At present, Thursday, Oct. 15, on the eve of my launch from residence isolation, my third roommate continues testing unfavourable for COVID-19. We managed to not unfold the coronavirus to her, and he or she managed to not catch it.
This story of my house efficiently locking down with out spreading illness shouldn’t be distinctive to me and even to Moab. Native, nationwide and world well being officers have all seen households throughout the pandemic efficiently run the course of the sickness with out spreading it by the home.
As a reporter, I’m extraordinarily lucky to have connections with a few of these consultants and a number of my very own background on the pandemic since I’ve reported on it nonstop since March. On this column, I needed to share a number of the data from which I’ve benefitted throughout this quarantine and isolation interval.
What follows are strategies that I developed after conversations with a number of officers on the Southeast Utah Well being Division and Jen Sadoff, the CEO of Moab Regional Hospital.
I’ll disclose that I’m not a health care provider or public well being official, and the success my family had not spreading COVID-19 to my roommate might need extra to do together with her immune system than the protocols we had in place as a home. Nonetheless, these are strategies that native well being officers inform me will go an extended solution to decreasing family unfold of illness for anybody who assessments constructive.
Flip in your swamp cooler
If an individual in your family has COVID-19, and when you have a swamp cooler, you may create a unfavourable strain room like hospitals have for contaminated sufferers, sequestering any viral particles they exhale. This requires merely opening a window within the contaminated particular person’s room, closing different home windows in the home, and turning in your swamp cooler when you have one.
You could already know that swamp coolers work extra effectively whenever you crack a couple of home windows round the home. It’s because every cracked window creates a launch valve for the air shifting by the home, permitting air to truly transfer by moderately than primarily piling up inside.
We will consider the nice and cozy air on this situation as virus-infected and the cool air as clear. To make sure the virus-infected air will get pushed exterior moderately than circulating round the home, it wants an escape valve, which a cracked window can present.
When the contaminated particular person opens the door to their room, the strain within the corridor pushes air into the room then out the cracked window. Viral particles leaving the home then disperse harmlessly (assuming no person is exterior, subsequent to the window) and, over time, disintegrate.
Use hand sanitizer when going by doorways
There’s nothing magical about strolling by the doorway of a home that was uncovered to the coronavirus, however utilizing hand sanitizer whenever you enter or exit a room ensures you don’t inadvertently carry viral particles round the home along with your arms. Doing that is particularly essential for the sick particular person or folks in the home.
When a sick particular person leaves their room, they’ll scale back or stop unfold by placing on their masks then utilizing hand sanitizer to eliminate any viral particles they’ve on their arms earlier than they go into the lavatory, kitchen or different widespread areas. It’s most superb to sequester the sick particular person to their very own lavatory or kitchen, however this in fact shouldn’t be all the time attainable, together with in my one-bathroom, three-bedroom house.
Put on a masks in widespread areas
Public well being officers don’t advise individuals who take a look at constructive for the coronavirus to put on a masks consistently. If you’re sick and you’re alone in your room, sporting a masks shouldn’t be going to be of a lot assist to anybody and can in all probability not be nice. Conversely, a masks could be very helpful when within the presence of others or in widespread areas.
Masks, as I and lots of others have mentioned because the CDC modified its thoughts about masking earlier within the pandemic, should not actually about holding you from respiration the virus in. They’re for making certain you don’t spew virus in every single place whereas talking, singing, whistling, coughing, sneezing or respiration. That is essential as a result of it is not uncommon to contract COVID-19 with out figuring out it.
The rationale folks have to put on masks in public, no matter how they’re feeling, is to scale back unfold by contaminated individuals who should not have or get signs. Masks hold asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic folks — those that both by no means develop signs or who’re sick however not but exhibiting it — from inadvertently spewing virus particles.
If an individual with COVID-19 occurs to haven’t any signs, they’ll nonetheless unfold the virus, however masking reduces that unfold.
Wipe down surfaces
The CDC doesn’t imagine surfaces are a major vector for the virus that causes COVID-19. Nonetheless, the company nonetheless says it’s attainable to catch the illness from contact with an contaminated floor.
To forestall unfold by way of surfaces, disinfect surfaces after an contaminated particular person in your family touches them. My extra particular recommendation on that is to purchase a bunch of containers of sanitary wipes and put them throughout the home so that there’s all the time one helpful when wanted. Do the identical with hand sanitizer bottles.