Updated May 20, 2022

Many of us live with family, friends, or roommates in the same home, or together with children, grandparents and parents.

People over age 65, or anyone with ongoing lung disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, asthma, diabetes are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19. If one person at home is vulnerable, everyone should take extra care to avoid getting sick in order to protect them.  

What we know about how the virus spreads (CDC)»

Here are some tips for how we can stay healthy, together.

Get vaccinated and/or boosted

Everyone 6 months or older is eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Getting vaccinated is very important for keeping yourself and others safer. Vaccines offer good protection against severe illness and death. 

A booster shot is an additional shot to get more protection. Many vaccines need boosters after a period of time. Find out when you should get a booster shot. 

Steps to take every day

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Be sure to wash when returning home, before eating, after cleaning, and after using the bathroom.
    • Families can turn hand washing into a game by singing a 20-second song together while washing hands.
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Use a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or use the inside of your elbow. Throw away the used tissues and wash your hands afterward. 
  • Keep the living area well ventilated. Open windows when possible and consider other strategies to keep air circulating. 
  • If someone in your household is unvaccinated or immunocompromised, you may want to consider wearing a mask when going to crowded indoor settings. 

Plan for everyone’s health

  • Make a plan for how you will get care if you get sick. Share your plan with your household. Include the name and phone number of your doctor or clinic. Include information about any ongoing health problems like asthma or diabetes including medications you should take. 
  • Make a plan for who will take care of your children or others in your household who need supervision or care.
  • If you have ongoing health problems (underlying conditions) that put you at higher risk for severe illness, be sure to have enough medications and supplies in case you need to stay home for a few weeks.
  • Learn about COVID-19 treatment options. Most treatment options need to be started right away.

young men making dinner together

If someone gets sick

  • Try to create a separate space for that person to rest and recover.
  • Keep their space and all other living spaces as well ventilated as possible. Open the windows if the air quality is good. 
  • If possible, offer the sick person their own bathroom. Run the exhaust fan when in use. 
  • If there’s only one bathroom, make sure it gets cleaned each time after the sick person uses it.
  • Don’t share towels, bedding, food, face coverings or utensils.
  • Choose one healthy person in the household to care for the sick person.
  • Wear a face covering when providing care. 
  • If possible, the sick person should also wear a face covering, to protect others they live with.

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