JHAH Offers Guidance on Precautionary Home Isolation Related to Possible COVID-19 Exposure

The actions we take as individuals, families, and communities have the power to fight the spread of COVID-19.

That is why is we must make safety our first priority and combat COVID-19.

As the Kingdom takes comprehensive action to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19, we must all be ready to respond in-kind with determination and forward planning.

The following information is designed to guide you and your household members if you have been advised to undertake precautionary home isolation following travel to an affected location or exposure to someone diagnosed with COVID-19.

Advice for All Household Members

  • Make sure that shared spaces in the home have good airflow, such as air conditioners or open windows.
  • All household members should practice the highest standards of hand and respiratory hygiene.
  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available and if your hands are not visibly dirty. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Other household members should be separated from the individual on home isolation as much as possible. They should not sleep in the same room, and they should use a separate bathroom, if possible.
  • Be particularly vigilant to keep elderly people and those who have compromised immune systems or specific health conditions away from the individual on home isolation. This includes people with chronic heart, lung, kidney diseases, or diabetes.
JHAH Offers Guidance on Precautionary Home Isolation Related to Possible COVID-19 Exposure

Avoid Sharing Household Items

  • Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, or other items with the individual on home isolation.
  • After the individual on home isolation uses these items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and hot water.
  • Clean “high-touch” surfaces such as counters, tabletops, keyboards, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, and bedside tables daily. Wear disposable gloves while cleaning surfaces.
  • To make a bleach solution at home or a household disinfectant, add 1 tablespoon of bleach to 4 cups of water. For a larger amount, add ¼ cup of bleach to 16 cups of water.
  • Wash laundry thoroughly. Immediately remove and wash clothes or bedding that have become soiled.
  • Wear disposable gloves while handling soiled items, and wash your hands immediately after removing your gloves.
  • Wash laundry with detergent and warm water at the maximum available cycle length, then machine dry.
JHAH Offers Guidance on Precautionary Home Isolation Related to Possible COVID-19 Exposure

Guidance for the Individual on Home Isolation

The individual on home isolation will need support in matters such as running errands (e.g., grocery shopping or picking up prescriptions) to avoid exposing others to infection.

Self-surveillance consists of monitoring and recording your temperature and any potential symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days from the date of departure from a location on the list of affected countries, or coming into contact with someone with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis.

self-surveillance checklist

  • Temperature of ≥ 37.8 °C (morning and night)
  • Cough (new or worsening): Y/N
  • Sore throat: Y/N
  • Shortness of breath: Y/N

If symptoms develop during the home isolation period, call ahead before visiting your doctor.

Talk to your registered health care provider so precautions can be taken to protect others.

For JHAH-registered patients, call the JHAH Nurse Care Line to speak to an experienced health care professional at 800- 305-4444, Option 3. For MDF registered and others, please call your health care provider or the Ministry of Health (937).

Outside of clinic hours, please go to the Emergency Department.

Stay informed

There are things every individual can do to protect themselves and others. Educate yourself about COVID-19 and make sure your information comes from reliable sources such as JHAH.com.

JHAH recommends the World Health Organization guidelines below to reduce the risk of exposure and transmission:

  • Frequently cleaning hands by using alcohol- based hand rub or soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue. Throw the tissue away immediately, and wash hands.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough.

Also, clean surfaces regularly with disinfectant — for example, work desks and items in the workplace such as keyboards.

For home isolation guidelines regarding suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases, visit JHAH.com.

— The Arabian Sun: March 11, 2020 | Vol. LXXV, No. 11