Test & Trace Corps – How To Safely Separate at Home | NYC Health + Hospitals

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How To Safely Separate at Home

Staying Inside

  • Do not go outside unless you need essential medical care such as dialysis or for a medical emergency.
    • If you need to go outside to get medical care, wear a face covering and let your health care provider know ahead of time that you have been diagnosed with or exposed to COVID-19.
    • If you need other medical care, try to speak with a health care provider over the phone or video. If you do not have a provider, you can call 1-212-COVID19 (212-268-4319) and speak with a provider.
  • Do not go to school.
  • Do not go to work.
    • If you are an essential worker who was exposed to COVID-19, you can go to work. Essential workers should not go to work if they were diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • Do not invite people into your home.
  • Have groceries and other items you need delivered to you.
    • Your Contact Tracer can refer you to a Resource Navigator for food delivery, or you can ask someone to bring these items to you.

For more tips on separating safely at home, click here (Español).

Protecting People in your Household

  • Stay at least six feet from everyone in your home at all times.
    • If you cannot stay six feet from others, wear a face covering.
    • The face covering can protect other people in your household because you could spread COVID-19 even if you do not feel sick.
  • Stay in a separate room away from others. If you need to be in the same room as others, move around furniture so that you can sit further apart.
  • Sleep alone in a room that has a window with good airflow. If you share a bed, sleep head-to-toe or have one person sleep on the couch or floor.
  • Use a separate bathroom, if possible. If you share a bathroom, clean anything you touch after each use.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds frequently, especially before touching other people (if you are a caregiver), preparing food for others, or touching anything they will need to touch, like medicines.
    • If you breastfeed, continue to breastfeed. Wear a face covering while breastfeeding and wash your hands prior to breastfeeding.
    • If you pump, wash pump parts with soap and water immediately and wipe down outside of bottles if other household members will feed the baby.
  • Ask your Contact Tracer for information about staying in a hotel if you are unable to keep six or more feet of distance from other people in your home.

Washing your Hands

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Coughing and Sneezing

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, your elbow or your sleeve when sneezing or coughing.
  • Do not use your hands to cover your sneeze or cough.
  • Immediately throw out used tissues and wash your hands afterward.

Keeping Clean

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, including tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucet, and sinks.
    • Clean surfaces after each use or at least once every day. Use soap and water or a disinfecting household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Use your own plate, bowl, and utensils – do not share these or food with anyone.
  • Avoid sharing other personal household items such as combs, toothbrush, cups, sheets, or blankets.

Staying Well

  • Go to an emergency room or call 911 if you if you have symptoms such as:
    • Trouble breathing
    • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
    • New confusion or inability to stay awake
    • Blue lips or face
    • Difficulty speaking
    • Sudden face drooping
    • Numbness in the face, arm, or leg
    • Seizure
    • Any sudden and severe pain
    • Uncontrolled bleeding
    • Severe or persistent vomiting or diarrhea
  • Call 1-212-COVID19 (212-268-4319) if you do not have a health care provider. You can get care regardless of your immigration status or ability to pay.
  • Seek mental health support if you need it. It can be distressing to learn you were diagnosed with or exposed to COVID-19 and will need to remain physically distant from other people. There are resources available to all New Yorkers to help during this difficult time. Resources are available regardless of immigration status or insurance coverage
    • NYC Well offers 24/7 well-being and emotional support. For free counseling, call 1-888-NYC-WELL (1-888-692-9355), Text WELL to 65173, or visit the NYC Well webpage to chat with a counselor.
    • You can also call New York State’s COVID-19 Emotional Support Helpline at 844-863-9314 to talk to specially trained volunteer professionals. They will be there to listen, support and offer referrals from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week.
    • For additional resources on how to cope, visit the NYC Health Department’s webpage on Coping and Emotional Well-Being.