If you’re living with extended family during this pandemic, its natural to wonder—“What if my whole family has COVID?”.
The transmission of the coronavirus is more possible at home, especially when people in the same household often go out in public areas.
Since the virus is transmissible via contaminated surfaces and respiratory secretions, it’s possible that an entire family can diagnose positive for COVID-19.
When your household is composed of the elderly, children, and people with health conditions, it becomes all the more important to take steps to protect yourselves from COVID-19, even within the home.
Let us discuss what you can do if the entire family has COVID-19.
How could an entire family contract the virus?
The coronavirus often spreads via direct or indirect contact with respiratory secretions.
When one family member has contracted the virus from the outside, it can easily transfer to others if physical distancing isn’t observed in the home, or proper disinfection high-touch surfaces, like doorknobs and countertops, isn’t practiced.
Even if a family member turns out to be asymptomatic, the virus remains contagious.
To ensure the safety of the family, it is best to monitor one another, especially if COVID-19 symptoms start to show up.
When one person in the family has been feeling sick, it is best to isolate them and consult a doctor for a COVID test as soon as possible.
If the test comes out positive, make sure to get the whole family to take the test as well, and self-isolate for 14 days.
How to isolate a family member with COVID-19
A coronavirus outbreak at home normally starts from one person.
Here are tips on how to properly isolate a sick family member if there are no spare rooms at home:
- Implement social distancing by maintaining a 6 feet distance between the patient and other members of the family.
- Instruct the patient to always wear a mask, especially when around others.
- When coughing or sneezing, it is important to cover the mouth and nose, so that contaminated droplets will not land on any surfaces or stay airborne.
- Observe good hygiene practices by washing hands often and by disinfecting exposed surfaces.
- Only one person must be taking care of the sick patient and has the lowest risk of contracting the virus.
- The caregiver must also keep a distance from others, especially from family members who are most at risk of the disease. Also, the caregiver needs to wash and disinfect the beddings and laundry of the patient often.
- Refrain from accepting visitors.
- Avoid sharing personal items such as clothes, beddings, phones, and others.
- When sharing a bedroom with the patient, make sure that the room is well ventilated, beds are 6 feet apart, and place a divider to separate the beds.
- Instruct the patient to disinfect the bathroom every after use.
- When handling food, it is best if the caregiver is the only one handling the food to the patient.
- The patient must use the same plate, glass, and utensils until the end of isolation.
- The caregiver must wear gloves and masks when preparing meals for the patient.
- Observe proper hand washing before and after handling food.
What to do when COVID strikes the whole family
What if my whole family has COVID? This is one of the common questions every head of the family has on their mind during this pandemic. Having someone in the family with coronavirus is already worrying, but what if every member contracts the virus?
Home quarantine is only for family members who are asymptomatic and with mild symptoms. Those who are experiencing severe symptoms and those with health conditions must be sent to the hospital immediately.
Here’s what you can do when the whole family is in-home quarantine:
- Stay calm and assure your family that being in quarantine is the best thing to do during these times.
- Follow the order of health professionals and take the necessary medications and precautions.
- Strictly observe proper hygiene and sanitation to eliminate contaminants inside the house.
- Communicate with friends and relatives via video call to inform them of your situation.
- Pay close attention to the symptoms of others to see if it is worsening or getting better.
- Call your local emergency hotline when a family member’s symptoms become more alarming and serious.
Your family will be free from home quarantine when:
- Everyone’s condition has improved without medication
- No one is showing any symptoms of COVID-19
- Everyone’s swab test results come out negative
Thinking about your family’s safety during the pandemic is quite daunting, since the virus does not choose who to infect.
The first thing to remember to prevent bringing the virus home to your family is to practice physical distancing in public places and to disinfect oneself as soon as you get home.
If your family is currently in home isolation, the head of the family must make sure that everyone follows protocol and does their best to win the fight against the coronavirus.
Learn more about COVID-19, here.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.