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On February 11, 2020 the World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease that is causing the current outbreak of coronavirus disease, COVID-19. CDC will be updating our website and other CDC materials to reflect the updated name.

Interim Guidance for Implementing Home Care of People Not Requiring Hospitalization for 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

Updated February 12, 2020

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This interim guidance is for staff at local and state health departments, infection prevention and control professionals, and healthcare personnel who are coordinating the home care and isolation1 of people with confirmed or suspected 2019-nCoV infection, including persons under investigation (see Criteria to Guide Evaluation of Persons Under Investigation (PUI) for 2019-nCoV). This includes patients evaluated in an outpatient setting who do not require hospitalization (i.e., patients who are medically stable and can receive care at home) or patients who are discharged home following a hospitalization with confirmed 2019-nCoV infection.

In general, people should adhere to appropriate transmission-based isolation precautions until the risk of secondary transmission is thought to be low. Current information on 2019-nCoV is limited, thus home precautions should be conservative based on general recommendations for other coronaviruses, like Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and may last up to 14 days.

This document does not apply to patients in healthcare settings. For interim healthcare infection prevention and control recommendations, see Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with Known or Persons Under Investigation for 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-NCoV) in a Healthcare Setting. CDC will update this interim guidance as needed and as more information becomes available.

Assess the Suitability of the Residential Setting for Home Care

In consultation with state or local health department staff, a healthcare professional should assess whether the residential setting is appropriate for home care. Considerations for care at home include whether:

  • The patient is stable enough to receive care at home.
  • Appropriate caregivers are available at home.
  • There is a separate bedroom where the patient can recover without sharing immediate space with others.
  • Resources for access to food and other necessities are available.
  • The patient and other household members have access to appropriate, recommended personal protective equipment (at a minimum, gloves and facemask) and are capable of adhering to precautions recommended as part of home care or isolation (e.g., respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette, hand hygiene);
  • There are household members who may be at increased risk of complications from 2019-nCoV infection (.e.g., people >65 years old, young children, pregnant women, people who are immunocompromised or who have chronic heart, lung, or kidney conditions).

Provide Guidance for Precautions to Implement during Home Care

A healthcare professional should

Footnotes

1Isolation is defined as the separation or restriction of activities of an ill person with a contagious disease from those who are well.

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