How to Care for Someone Who is Sick
Provide support and help cover basic needs
  • Help the person who is sick follow their doctor’s instructions for care and medicine.

    • For most people, symptoms last a few days and people feel better after a week.

  • See if over-the-counter medicines, such as acetaminophen, help the person feel better.

  • Make sure the person who is sick drinks a lot of fluids and rests.

  • Help them with grocery shopping, filling prescriptions, and getting other items they may need. Consider having the items delivered through a delivery service, if possible.

  • Take care of their pet(s), and limit contact between the person who is sick and their pet(s) when possible.

Watch for warning signs
  • Have their doctor’s phone number on hand.

  • Call their doctor if the person keeps getting sicker. For medical emergencies, call 911 and tell the dispatcher that the person has or might have COVID-19.

People who have emergency warning signs for COVID-19 should  call 911 right away. Emergency warning signs include*:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest

  • New confusion or inability to wake up

  • Bluish lips or face

*This is not every emergency symptom or sign

Protect yourself when caring for someone who is sick

1. Limit contact

  • when possible, use seperate bedrooms and bathrooms. Have the person who is sick stay in their own room or create a 'sick room'. 

  • wear masks and gloves when taking care of the sick individual

  • avoid having any visitors over, especially seniors and those at higher risk for illness.

2. Avoid sharing personal items

  • do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding or other items with the infected person

  • after use, wash household items in a dishwasher, washing machine or by hand with soap or and warm water — you don’t have to use a special type of soap

  • do not share cigarettes

3. Wash your hands often and thoroughly

  • after each contact, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds

  • if washing your hands with water is not possible, use hand sanitzer 

4. Clean often, and wash laundry throughly

  • clean your home with regular household cleaners

  • clean regularly touched items such as toilets, sink tap handles, doorknobs and bedside tables daily

  • wear gloves when handling an infected person’s laundry

    • you can safely wash other laundry with the infected person’s

    • wash your hands with soap and water immediately after taking your gloves off

5. Track your own health

  • monitor yourself for symptoms