Boris Johnson is looking at reducing the self-isolation period
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Coronavirus is continuing to spread at a rapid rate, forcing thousands of Brits into self-isolation each day. While isolation is often only required for the individual who tests positive, it can be tricky to contain within a household. Keeping away from other household members is crucial to limit the spread of the virus, but what else should you be doing to protect yourself and others while isolating with COVID-19?
While testing and vaccination efforts are working to limit the serious impact of coronavirus infections, rising cases and regular testing are forcing many more people into self-isolation.
Under the current UK guidelines, those who test positive on a lateral flow test should self isolate for seven days if they can test negative on the sixth and seventh day.
For those still testing positive, a 10 day isolation period should be completed.
While isolating with the virus is relatively straightforward, it can pose a significant risk to other household members who are not infected with the virus.
Following Government slogans such as hands, face, space can help to limit the spread of COVID-19, but there are other things you can do to prevent further infection within your home.
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What are the current coronavirus isolation rules?
Advice for people who have a positive lateral flow test (LFT) result has changed as of today.
If you have no symptoms but you test positive on a lateral flow, you do not need to get a PCR, but you should self-isolate immediately.
According to Gov.uk: “If you do not have symptoms of COVID-19 and live in the same household as someone with COVID-19, you are legally required to self-isolate unless you meet certain criteria.”
The criteria which will mean you are exempt from isolation is as follows:
- You are full vaccinated (at least two doses of an approved vaccine)
- You are under 18 years of age
- You have taken part or are currently part of an approved COVID-1 vaccine trial
- You are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons
Containment is key
As the nation continues to work from home, keeping your distance from other household members can be incredibly difficult while battling a coronavirus infection.
Containing your living space is crucial to limit the spread of coronavirus within your home, so be sure to separate your own space from non-infected household members.
The NHS recommends:
- Staying on your own in one room as much as possible and keeping the door closed
- Avoid using shared spades (such as the kitchen) at the same time as other people
- Eat meals in your room
- Use a separate bathroom, or use a shared bathroom which should be cleaned each time you use it.
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Assign one caregiver
While living under the same roof as a Covid-positive person, it is important to limit contact between infected and non-infected individuals.
Assigning one caregiver to deliver food, drink and medicine to the infected person is the best way to reduce unnecessary contact.
Shaun Doak, CEO of REACT Specialist Cleaning told Express.co.uk: “Personal hygiene is an important factor when trying to keep Covid out of the home.
“Our hands are the most likely body part that will come into contact with any infected surfaces, so we need to keep the 20-second rule for washing our hands as a priority, especially with the spread of the new variant.”
Keep items separate and sanitised
You should avoid using the same household items as the infected person so be vigorous with sanitising water bottles, food trays, utensils and other items once they have been used by the isolating individual.
Shaun Doak added: “There’s one more step people always forget.
“At the end of your cleaning routine, make sure to sanitise all your cleaning cloths and sponges as they may still carry some of the bacteria you have been removing from your home.
“Simply microwave the sponges for 30 seconds, and then they’re ready to be used again.”
The NHS advises against sharing towels, including hand towels and tea towels while isolating in a shared home.
Ventilate your home
Fill your home with fresh air while living in a confined space with a Covid-positive person.
During the winter, it can be trickier to keep your home warm while allowing fresh air to circulate through each room, but even the smallest efforts could make a difference.
Keep windows open in both the isolating room and shared spaces to flush out lingering Covid pathogens in the air.
Consider wearing a face-covering when in contact areas, such as the bathroom or kitchen, to limit airborne particles.
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