What to do if you need to self-quarantine because of coronavirus

What to do if you need to self-quarantine

A growing number of people who may have come in close contact with someone who has coronavirus are being told to self-quarantine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says if after two weeks, you don't have any symptoms, you should be in the clear. 

But self-quarantining can be a challenge for anyone who lives in close quarters with others.

"It's hard and it's confusing," said Jessica Haller, who lives in the Bronx and has been home with her four kids since last Tuesday. They're under precautionary quarantine after a case of coronavirus was confirmed in their school.

"We didn't really receive guidance about what to do," she said.

CBS News medical contributor Dr. Tara Narula shared tips for anyone who needs to self-quarantine with CBS News correspondent Vladimir Duthiers. Here is her advice:

Look for unexpected places where contagion can spread and disinfect them

"You want to be aware of high-touch surfaces — things that you touch over and over again whether that's the faucet handle, whether that's a countertop where you're preparing food, the refrigerator door, and all of these things you should be disinfecting," Narula said.

Use your own dishware, utensils and cups

"Maybe pick a couple that you're just going to use for those 14 days that are your own," she said.

Disinfect all devices

"All of those remotes need to be wiped down. Also iPads, iPhones, any sort of devices that you're using. You're going to want to wipe it down as well," Narula said.

Open windows if you can

"It's helpful to keep the room well ventilated and the air circulating, so if you do live in a place that you can open the windows, it's not too cold out, that would be one other thing to think about doing," she said.

Don't share towels

Narula said the person who may be sick shouldn't share towels with other people in their home.

Don't interact with delivery people

Leave the money outside and then pick up the food or packages after they leave, Narula recommended.

Stock up on essential medications

Narula said to make sure you have at least a two-week supply of any necessary medications. 

Haller, the Bronx resident in self-quarantine, said she is trying to keep her home clean. "We're trying to keep germs away as best as we can," she said. 

For now, the family is also using FaceTime to communicate with the kids' grandpa, who was recently released from the hospital for another illness.

"We cannot come near him. The kids can't come near him. I probably shouldn't either," Haller said.

They don't know for sure when they'll return to school.

"I'm really worried about where this ends. I don't know where this ends," Haller said. 

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