Increasing COVID-19 cases in Tampa Bay has prompted the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties to urge members to help fight the spread.
Those officials are asking the public to follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during quarantine or isolation.
Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others, says a news release issued by the health department.
Quarantine can help prevent the spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms.
People who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 need to quarantine. In addition, if someone has been tested but unaware of exposure, they should remain in quarantine until they receive a negative result, the news release says.
People in quarantine, including those who feel sick and/or are waiting for test results, should stay home, separate themselves from others, monitor their health, and follow directions from their state or local health department.
The Tampa Bay health departments shared the CDC’s guidance.
Close contact means:
- You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more
• You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19
• You had direct physical contact with the person (hugged or kissed them)
• You shared eating or drinking utensils
• They sneezed, coughed or somehow got respiratory droplets on you
- Stay home for at least 14 days (check current guidance) after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19.
• Watch for fever (100.4F), cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
• If possible, stay away from others, especially people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19.
Isolation is used to separate people who are infected with COVID-19 from those who are not.
People who are in isolation should stay home until it’s safe for them to be around others.
In the home, if you are sick or infected:
• Monitor symptoms.
• Stay in a separate room from other household members, if possible.
• Use a separate bathroom, if possible.
• Avoid contact with other members of the household and pets.
• Don’t share personal household items, such as cups, towels and utensils.
• Wear a mask when around other people, if possible.
If you live with someone with COVID-19:
• Try to stay at least 6 feet away from the sick person.
• If you have to share space, make sure the room has good air flow.
• Open the window to increase air circulation.
• Improve ventilation to help remove respiratory droplets from the air.
• Avoid having unnecessary visitors.
If you are caring for someone with COVID-19 at home or in a non-health care setting:
• The person who is sick should eat (or be fed) in their room, if possible.
• Wash dishes and utensils using gloves and hot water: handle any dishes, cups/glasses or silverware used by the person who is sick with gloves. Wash them with soap and hot water or in a dishwasher.
• Clean hands after taking off gloves or handling used items.
• Do not share dishes, cups/glasses, silverware, towels, bedding, or electronics (like a cellphone) with the person who is sick.
• The person who is sick should wear a mask when they are around other people (Masks should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is not able to remove the covering without help.)
• The caregiver should put on a mask and ask the sick person to put on a mask before entering the room.
• Wear gloves when you touch or have contact with the sick person’s blood, stool or body fluids, such as saliva, mucus, vomit and urine. Throw out gloves into a lined trash can and wash your hands right away.
• Practice everyday preventive actions to keep from getting sick: wash your hands often; avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth; and, frequently clean and disinfect surfaces.
• Clean and disinfect “high-touch” surfaces and items every day: This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks and electronics.
The Florida Department of Health encourages individuals to discuss any questions or concerns with their primary care provider.
For more information to help prevent household spread of COVID-19, go to CDC.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/index.html.
For more information on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19, visit CDC.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/.
For general information on COVID-19 in Florida, visit FloridaHealth.gov/covid-19, email , or call 866-779-6121.
Published December 09, 2020