For those families who will have high-risk individuals who reside in our facility in their homes over the holidays, we recommend taking the following steps to lower the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
Take proactive steps to reduce the risk that anyone in your house, or visiting your house, develops or is exposed to COVID-19.
• Decrease exposures: For two weeks prior to your holiday gatherings, avoid indoor settings with people you do not live with where you cannot socially distance or wear a mask (e.g., indoor social events, bars, restaurants, carpooling).
• Wear a mask: Wear a facemask at all times when you are in indoor locations outside of your house or at outdoor events where you cannot socially distance from others.
• Wash your hands: As recommend by the CDC, regularly wash your hands or use hand sanitizer and ask those coming in your house to do the same.
• Physically distance: Follow CDC guidelines and socially distance at least 6 feet from others outside your household when possible.
CREATE A SAFE ENVIRONMENT
Create a safer environment for those visiting you.
• Screen: Ask anyone entering or staying in your house if they have had symptoms (e.g., fever, body aches, fatigue, runny nose, cough) of COVID-19 or if they have had a recent exposure to someone with COVID-19. Anyone in your house with symptoms should be isolated and anyone with exposures should be quarantined. If possible, get you and your household tested for COVID-19 in time to receive the results before having high-risk individuals in your home.
• Mask: When at-risk individuals are visiting, you should wear a facemask while visiting with them inside your house. In addition, you should wear a facemask while in the car with them. If individuals staying with you can also wear a mask, ask them to do so as well.
• Socially distance: Set up your house so you can physically distance with individuals who have high-risk health conditions while they are visiting you and during meals or other times when a mask cannot be worn. If possible, have a separate bedroom and bathroom specifically for the high-risk resident. If weather allows, visit outdoors.
• Wash your hands: Make sure plenty of hand sanitizer is available and ask all those in your house to use it or to wash their hands regularly as recommended by the CDC.
• Clean surfaces: Designate someone to regularly clean high touch surfaces in your house (e.g., tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, etc.). Make sure you have an approved COVID-19 cleaning solution available and know the appropriate cleaning procedures. Also, plan for the safe storage of cleaning solutions to prevent children or those with cognitive deficits from getting into them.
• Air flow: Make environmental changes to decrease the indoor spread of COVID-19. This includes cracking windows, use of room HEPA filters, humidifiers and opening blinds.