While quarantining at home, it is still very important to continue the practice of social distancing and sanitizing your living space daily, especially if you are living with young children or the elderly.


The National Department of Health has indicated that evidence from several other countries seems to show that older people and those living with compromised immune systems, cardiovascular disease and hypertension, are more at risk of contracting severe symptoms of the virus.


Young children can also be at risk and it is suggested that you reduce contact with your children as much as you can. It is important to explain as best you can why the country is in lockdown and that staying at home is essential in keeping the family, as well as the community, safe from possible transmissions.


Whether you have been confirmed positive for the virus or not, it is still vital to wash your hands several times during the day, using warm water and soap. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds before rinsing and drying them properly. Cover your mouth and nose with your arm or a tissue when you sneeze or cough.


Make sure you dispose of these dirty tissues in a lined rubbish bin, before washing your hands thoroughly. Touching your nose, eyes and mouth with unwashed hands can spread the virus.


The Department of Health has said it is important to use your own toothbrushes, eating utensils, cups, glasses, towels, dishes and linen and to prepare food for yourself and not others.


If you are in isolation for having been suspected of coming into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and live with other people, avoid contact with the family as far as possible.


During isolation, you should sleep in a separate area from the rest of the household and avoid shared spaces like the lounge and kitchen, if possible. Keep the house well-ventilated with windows open to allow fresh air in.


Ensure you clean and sanitize your living area, especially surfaces like the kitchen counter and sink tops after use and avoid touching these surfaces once they have been cleaned.


If you share a bathroom with other people in the house, wipe down and clean the area after every single use.


If someone you are living with has presented mild symptoms of the virus and has been told to isolate at home, there should only be one designated carer in the house to look after the person who is sick.


The carer will have to keep a two-metre distance from the infected person and, if possible, wear a disposable mask and single-use gloves. Once you have had contact with the infected person, wash your hands thoroughly and, if you can, wash the clothes you were wearing while caring for them to ensure the virus does not cling to your clothing.


By Chelsea Pieterse
Freelance Journalist