Interim Guidance for Implementing Home Care of People Not Requiring Hospitalization for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

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 COVID-19 infection, including persons under investigation (see Criteria to Guide Evaluation of Persons Under Investigation (PUI) for COVID-19). 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 COVID-19 infection.

In general, people should adhere to home isolation until the risk of secondary transmission is thought to be low. Visit the Preventing the Spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 in Homes and Residential Communities page for more information.

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 forCoronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) 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 are capable of adhering to precautions recommended as part of home care or isolation. A caregiver may wear a cloth face covering when caring for a person who is sick, however the protective effects (how well the cloth face covering protects healthy people from breathing in the virus) are unknown. Note: During the COVID-19 pandemic, medical grade facemasks are reserved for healthcare workers and some first responders. A cloth face covering may need to be improvised using a scarf or bandana. Learn more here.
  • There are household members who may be at increased risk of complications from COVID-19 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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