Reducing the spread of COVID-19 in your household

If somebody in your household has tested positive, it’s quite likely that others in the household will go on to test positive too. There may be another case already in the household, with or without symptoms, so you are advised to book a PCR test for everybody you live with. Arrange a PCR test online or call 119.

To help prevent COVID spreading to other members of your household, the person who has tested positive should:

  • Spend as little time as possible in shared spaces such as kitchens, bathrooms and sitting areas. Avoid using shared spaces such as kitchens and living areas while others are present and take meals back to their room (or ask others to bring meals to their door).
  • Use a separate bathroom from the rest of the household if possible. If not, then use the bathroom last and then clean it. The bathroom should be cleaned regularly.
  • Use a face covering when spending time in shared areas. Used correctly, this may help to protect others but they do not replace the need to limit contact with other household members.
  • Limit contact with pets. There is limited evidence that pets can become infected with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) following close contact with infected humans.

Everybody in the household should:

  • Regularly wash their hands with soap and water or use hand sanitiser, and avoid touching their face.
  • Regularly clean frequently touched surfaces such as door handles and remote controls, and shared areas such as kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Avoid sharing towels (including hand towels and tea towels) and don’t shake dirty laundry as this could spread the virus through the air.
  • Open windows and doors as much as possible to increase the flow of air.
  • Cover their nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, or cough or sneeze into the crook of their elbow.
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