If You Are Sick
If you are sick with COVID-19 or suspect you are infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, you should take steps to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home and our community.
If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, tell healthcare staff IMMEDIATELY.
If you are sick stay home, self-isolate, and monitor for fever of 100.4 or greater and a new cough, and/or shortness of breath.
If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19, get medical attention immediately.
In adults, emergency warning signs include*:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- Extreme fatigue or new confusion
- Bluish lips or face
*This list is not all-inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.
Restrict activities outside your home. Do not have visitors at your home. Do not go to work, school, or public areas. Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis. You may go outside if you are not coughing and have a private backyard or private outdoor area that is at least 6 feet from other residents. Wear a mask if you have one.
As much as possible, you should stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available. Try to maintain a distance of six feet, when possible, from other people in the home and do not eat in common areas.
If symptoms worsen and are not resolved with over the counter medication, call your Primary Care Provider (PCP) and they will determine if you need testing for COVID-19 and refer you as needed.
If you have a medical emergency, call 911 and notify the dispatch personnel of your symptoms.
Duration of Home Isolation
If You Were Not Tested
After you have no fever and all your symptoms are gone, stay home for an additional three days. This means you will feel well and still stay home before you have contact with people outside your home.
If Your COVID-19 Test is Negative
You will be notified by your provider. It may take 4-7 days to get a result, and you should remain in home isolation until your provider confirms a negative result. If you continue to feel unwell after your negative result is confirmed, and need medical care urgently, contact your provider.
If Your COVID-19 Test is Positive
Patients with confirmed COVID-19 should remain under home isolation precautions until the risk of secondary transmission to others is thought to be low. The decision to discontinue home isolation precautions will be made on a case-by-case basis, in consultation with healthcare providers and local health departments. You will be contacted by your provider or the local Public Health Department regarding the next steps.
Being isolated in your home may be inconvenient, but it is temporary. And it could save lives.
Other General Guidelines
Cover your coughs and sneezes.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues in a lined trash can. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or, if soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Clean your hands often.Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Soap and water are the best options if hands are visibly dirty. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid sharing personal household items.You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home. After using these items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water.
Clean all “high-touch” surfaces every day.High touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them. Use a household cleaning spray or wipe, according to the label instructions. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during the use of the product.
PetsIt is recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a facemask. See COVID-19 and Animals for more information.
Unable to Work
The California Employment Development Department (EDD) is encouraging individuals who are unable to work due to exposure to COVID-19 to file a Disability Insurance claim.
EDD is also encouraging employers who are experiencing a slowdown in their businesses or services as a result of the Coronavirus impact on the economy to apply for an Unemployment Insurance work-sharing program.
If you have additional questions and cannot find the information you need online, call the Santa Barbara County Call Center at 833-688-5551.
If A Member of Your Household is Sick
Household members, intimate partners, and caregivers in a nonhealthcare setting may have close contact2 with a person with symptomatic, laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 or a person under investigation. Close contacts should monitor their health; they should call their healthcare provider right away if they develop symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 (e.g., fever, cough, shortness of breath).
Home Cleaning with COVID-19 Positive Individuals
The following guidance from the California Department of Public Health is for people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 who are able to receive care at home, and to their household members and/or caregivers, regarding the cleaning of residences.
Residence Decontamination and Removal of COVID-19 Waste
CDC has released Interim Guidance for Preventing the Spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Homes and Residential Communities (see https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance preventspread.html). That document provides detailed guidance, but these are the key current recommendations of the CDC and CDPH regarding cleaning and waste disposal:
- Perform hand-hygiene frequently. Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60-95% alcohol.
- Respiratory etiquette: Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw into a lined trash container.
- Avoid sharing personal household items, dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels or bedding with other people or pets in your home. After using these items, wash thoroughly with soap and water.
- Wash laundry thoroughly: Wear disposable gloves while handling soiled items. Read and follow the directions on the labels of bedding, clothing, detergent and/or washing machines. Dry thoroughly using the warmest temperatures recommended on the clothing label.
- Clean all “high-touch” surfaces every day, such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, fixtures, toilets, phones, etc. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them. Use a regular household cleaning spray or wipe according to the label instructions, which include precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure to have good ventilation during the use of the product.
- When removing personal protective equipment, first remove and dispose of gloves. Then immediately clean your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Next, remove and dispose of facemask, and immediately clean your hands again with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Place all used gloves, facemasks and other contaminated items in a lined container before disposing of them with other household waste.
- Clean your hands (with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer) immediately after handling these items.
Individuals may also consult with SBCPHD for any COVID-19 related issues. call the Santa Barbara County Call Center at 833-688-5551.
Lompoc Valley Medical Center encourages you to stay informed. Please use the links below for additional information. The CDC updates its website regularly as more information becomes available.
- California Department of Public Health
- World Health Organization Coronavirus Information
- Home cleaning with COVID-19 positive individuals
- County of Santa Barbara Coronavirus Information Portal
- How Coronavirus Spreads
- Emmi Guides on COVID-19
Emmi programs are web-based presentations that take complex medical information and make it easy for you and your family to understand. You can view these programs online for free, and share them with your friends and family. Let's get started!