Practical advice about self-isolation (as per NICD guidelines)
- Patients instructed to self-isolate at home should adhere to the suggested measures below to reduce the risk of possible transmission to others:
- Patients should avoid unnecessary travel and unnecessary contact with other people.
- Where contact is unavoidable, the patient should wear a facemask, and maintain a distance of at least 1 metre (preferably 2 metres) from other people
- Patients should clean their hands with soap and water frequently. Alcohol-based sanitizers may also be used, provided they contain at least 70% alcohol.
- Patients should practice good cough and sneeze hygiene, by using a tissue, and then immediately discarding the tissue in a lined trash can, followed by washing hands immediately.
- Patients should not have visitors in their home. Only those who live in their home should be allowed to stay.
- At home, the patient should stay in a specific room and use his/her own bathroom (if possible). If they live in shared accommodation (university halls of residence or similar) with a communal kitchen, bathroom(s) and living area, they should stay in their room with the door closed, only coming out when necessary, wearing a facemask if they do so.
- Patients should avoid sharing household items like dishes, cups, eating utensils and towels. After using any of these, the items should be thoroughly washed with soap and hot water.
- All high-touch surfaces like table tops, counters, toilets, phones, computers, etc. should be appropriately and frequently cleaned.
- If patients need to wash laundry at home before the results are available, then they should wash all laundry at the highest temperature compatible for the fabric using laundry detergent. This should be above 60° C. If possible, they should tumble dry and iron using the highest setting compatible with the fabric. Disposable gloves and a plastic apron should be used when handling soiled materials, if possible, and all surfaces and the area around the washing machine should be cleaned. Laundry should not be taken to a launderette. The patient should wash his/her hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling dirty laundry (remove gloves first, if used).
- Patients should know who to call if they develop any worsening symptoms, so that they can be safely reassessed. NICD: 082 883 9920 or 0800 029 999. Tygerberg Infectious Diseases Unit: 021 938 5229