Close contacts of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus-infected pneumonia should be put under medical quarantine for 14 days since last contact with the patient. When quarantined at home, close contacts should keep in touch with medical workers, watch for their symptoms and learn more about home health care. It is also necessary to follow precautions on hand washing, ventilation, epidemic prevention and disinfection in homes. Suggestions on home quarantine are as follows.
I. Close contacts should stay in well-ventilated single rooms while refusing all visits.
II. Restrict the activities of close contacts, and minimize their shared spaces with household members. Keep such shared spaces as kitchen and bathroom well ventilated with windows open.
III. Household members should not live in the same room with close contacts. If not possible, keep a distance of at least one meter. Mothers can continue breastfeeding their infants.
IV. Household members should wear a mask covering mouth and nose before entering the living spaces of close contacts. Do not touch or adjust the mask in the living space and replace the mask once it turns moist or dirty with secretions. Wash hands immediately after removing and discarding the mask.
V. Clean hands after one has any direct contact with or leaves the living space of close contacts. Hand washing is also necessary before preparing food, before meals, and after using the toilet. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if one’s hands are not visibly dirty while wash with soap and running water otherwise. Follow safety instructions. Guard against accidental ingestion of and fire caused by sanitizers.
VI. Wash hands with soap and water and then wipe them with a disposable handkerchief. If not available, use a towel. Replace the towel when it becomes wet.
VII. The materials used to cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing should be discarded, or washed immediately. Handkerchiefs can be washed with soap or detergent and running water.
VIII. Household members should minimize contact with close contacts and their items. Avoid sharing toothbrushes, cigarettes, tableware, food, drinks, towels, bath towels, and bed sheets. Tableware should be washed with detergent and water.
IX. Use disinfectants containing chlorine or peracetic acid to clean and disinfect all frequently touched surfaces such as bedside tables, bed frames and other bedroom furniture. Bathrooms and toilets should be cleaned and disinfected at least once a day.
X. Wash the person’s clothes, sheets, bath towels and towels with soap and water or by a washing machine at 60-90 degrees Celsius with detergent and then get the items dried. Put bedding used by close contacts in a laundry bag. Avoid direct contact with one’s skin and clothes.
XI. Wear disposable gloves and protective clothing such as a plastic apron before cleaning and touching surfaces of items, clothing, or bedding that have on them secretions from close contacts. Clean and disinfect hands before wearing gloves and after removing them.
XII. Seek prompt medical attention in case close contacts develop suspicious symptoms. Such symptoms include fever, cough, pharyngalgia, chest distress, dyspnea, mildly poor appetite, fatigue, mild lethargy, nausea, diarrhea, headache, palpitation, conjunctivitis, and mildly sore limb or back muscles, etc. Specific suggestions are as follows:
1. Wear a surgical or N95 mask.
2. If available, do not use public transportation and keep the car window open.
3. Wear a facemask and keep hands clean at all times. Stay at least one meter away from other people on the way to or in the hospital.
4. Use disinfectants containing chlorine or peracetic acid to sterilize the vehicle that is contaminated by the respiratory secretions or body fluids.