COVID-19: Caring for a Sick Household Member

Keep your healthcare provider informed.

If you are caring for or living with someone who has respiratory symptoms — possibly COVID-19 — you are considered a ‘close contact.’ You will be given special instructions about how to monitor your own health, what to do if you start to feel sick and who to contact.

Wash your hands often.

Wash your hands with soap and water after each contact with the infected person.

When to wear a mask and gloves

Wear a mask and gloves when you have contact with the person’s saliva or other body fluids and when providing direct contact care. Dispose of gloves and mask after use. Take off the gloves first without touching the outside of the gloves, and wash your hands with soap and water before taking off your mask. After taking off your mask, wash your hands again with soap and water before touching your face or doing anything else. Dispose of both in a wastebasket lined with a plastic bag.

Minimize visitors to your home.

It is okay for friends, family or delivery drivers to drop off necessities, but during these COVID-10 times, it is a good idea to minimize visitors to your home. 

Avoid sharing household items.

Do not share dishes, drinking cups, utensils, towels, bedding or other items with the person who is sick.

Clean regularly touched items often.

These include things such as toilets, sink tap handles, doorknobs and bedside tables on a daily basis.

Wash laundry thoroughly.

Contaminated laundry should be placed in a laundry basket with a plastic liner. Wear gloves and mask when handling.

Be careful when touching waste.

Take care to not touch used tissues when emptying waste baskets. Lining the wastebasket with a plastic bag makes waste disposal easier and safer.

Trusted information sources.

For more specific advice on how to care for a household member with COVID-19, search the Internet (Google search) each of the following organization names together with

the words ‘how to care for a sick person with COVID-19':

  • BC Centre for Disease Control (
  • HealthlinkBC (
  • Health Canada (

Page Last Updated: 17/06/2020