If you’ve been asked to self-quarantine yourself, here are some things that you should know to prepare yourself. First, the reason you’re being asked to do this is that you’ve been exposed to COVID-19. You may feel healthy now, but it’s a good possibility that you could get sick within the next 2-14 days. Quarantine means that you’ll need to monitor your symptoms and that you’ll also be getting daily calls from your state’s healthcare department. This is no laughing matter, if you break the rules of self-quarantine, you could be in a lot of trouble.
If you live by yourself, then ordering takeout may be the best way to get food once you’ve run out of groceries. Let the delivery person know that they can leave the food at the door so you’re not putting them at risk. If there is no takeout option, ask a neighbor or friend to stock up for you. Send them money, safely, via Venmo. If you’re with family members, make sure you’re eating alone and not sharing food, utensils, or drinking glasses.
If you live alone and you can drink the tap water in your home, then you’re probably all set. This probably isn’t the time to get picky about what kind of water you have access to, such as bottled, sparkling, flavored, etc. If you live somewhere where the tap water is not potable, then having water delivered to your door via delivered service or neighbor might be your best (only) option.
Since you’re not allowed to go outside to walk your dog, you’ll need some help. Unfortunately, non-essential visitors like dog-walkers aren’t allowed into your place. Leaving your dog with a neighbor or friend or family member is the best option. Dogs can test positive for COVID-19 so the CDC recommends that those in self-quarantine stay away from their animals.
Other Family Members (if applicable)
If you live with other people, you’ll need to isolate yourself from them. Make sure that you don’t share household items with them, cover your coughs and sneezes, wear a facemask, and disinfect high-traffic areas and surfaces. These include things like doorknobs, countertops, and sink/toilet handles.
Getting to the Hospital
If you do get sick and end up needing to go to the hospital, you must call ahead. Let your doctor or local ER know that you are coming in so that they can prepare for your arrival. When you do go out, do not take public transportation. Wear a facemask and take a private car. Once again, let your driver know that you are sick so he can take the necessary precautions.
Laundry (in NYC)
If you have a washer and dryer at home, make sure to wash your sheets and clothes. Especially if any of it has been contaminated with mucus, blood, or feces. If you live in a city like NYC, where few places have washer/dryer units, you might need a Plan B. The safest way is to make sure that you have enough clothes for the 2 weeks of quarantine. You won’t be doing any running or sweating, so a few outfits should be enough. You can easily wash undergarments by hand and hang them up to dry. The CDC has no recommendations on what to do with your clothes and dirty laundry after your 14-day quarantine. To learn more, call your local health department to ask them if it’s safe to send out your laundry.