It’s happened. Coronavirus has entered your home. You can’t seem to fathom how this could be possible. You’ve been washing your hands religiously, maintaining social-distancing guidelines, and have wiped down your surfaces over and over again. Still, it happened. Now is not the time to despair. It’s time to take care of your loved one and protect yourself at the same time. You may observe certain symptoms like a dry cough, extreme fatigue, and loss of a sense of smell or taste among others. Just as when anyone becomes ill, even if it’s not necessarily with COVID19, it’s a good idea to keep your distance until they get tested. Here’s what you should do:

Call the doctor or your county’s health department to report their symptoms and to ask if they can get tested. If they are approved for testing, help them get a testing location. There should be multiple locations around your area. Some CVS Pharmacies do offer drive-thru testing. If you choose this method, it may take a few days to get the results back. Costs of testing may vary depending on his or her medical insurance.

If they can’t get tested right away, it’s best to take the necessary precautions and to act as if they do have the virus. In other words, keep your distance as best you can.

If you are living with someone who is ill, give them a specific space or area that the can quarantine themselves in. This will serve to protect both yourself from contracting the illness and them from passing it to you.

If the person is sick, make sure they are always coughing into their mask or cloth, or elbow or a tissue to prevent the spread of any germs or particles into the air.

Washing your hands with hot water and soap is always best, but use alcohol rub if you don’t have access to soap and water.

Wipe down surfaces with soap and disinfectants.

Don’t touch your face or rub your eyes if you haven’t washed your hands.

It’s very important to keep a constant lookout for the sick individual because this virus can take a turn for the worse rather quickly. Offer them both physical and emotional support whenever you can, without getting too close.

There are certain warning signs of danger when it comes to COVID-19 that you should be aware of: trouble breathing, chest pain or pressure that doesn’t go away, confusion or can’t be woken up, or a blue color in their lips or face.

Designate a bedroom for them to stay in. They shouldn’t leave that bedroom except to go to the bathroom. Keep everyone away from them. Also, if you can, open a window to get the air circulating inside.

Designate a sick bathroom for them. If you only have one bathroom, you’re going to need to clean the surfaces inside the bathroom every time they use it.

Follow safety guidelines related to medication to reduce fevers like ibuprofen. Do not exceed the recommended dosage. Keep track of when and how often the sick person is taking the medication.

Make sure plenty of blankets, pillows, books, magazines, TV, or a computer are available for their leisure while they are recovering. Make them as comfortable as possible. Keep a phone charger near their bed, so they can call or text you if they need something.

Bring food to them on a tray and maintain your distance as you give it to them.

Keep their laundry separate from yours. This may sound excessive, but it’s important to remember that germs can pass through clothing as well. You want to take any and all precautions to make sure you don’t get sick, too.

Go through your entire house and clean all surfaces and areas thoroughly.

We understand that these have been trying times for many. All of the recommendations included here are steps you should already be taking to prevent the spread of germs and ailments even if it’s not COVID-19.

For more information about how to care for someone with COVID-19, please visit the CDC’s website.