Health department shares info on how to care for virus patients

Staff Reports

During the coronavirus and COVID-19 outbreak, you may become the caregiver for a person who is ill.

Are you prepared if they are sent home from the hospital and need to be cared for in the home?

The Jackson County Health Department recently shared some tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Most people who get sick won’t be hospitalized. These recommendations are for preparing to care for yourself or your loved ones at home.

Patients should be isolated an extra bedroom if possible. Whatever the situation, the sick person gets the bedroom. They can’t leave, and nobody can enter, even pets.

For isolation safety and cleaning, have bleach and/or disinfecting wipes, face masks, gloves for entering a sick room and doing laundry (latex or nitrile rubber), hand sanitizer, laundry detergent (wash everything on hot), paper towels, soap, a nail brush and tissues. A do-it-yourself bleach solution can be created by diluting 5 tablespoons of bleach per gallon of water.

Masks that cover the nose and mouth include surgical masks, home improvement masks or scarves. Patients should wear a face mask any time they leave their room, even if going to the bathroom. Anyone entering the room also should wear a mask. A simple surgical mask is recommended for home use, but a scarf tied securely around the face or hardware-store face masks or homemade masks are better than nothing.

The mask should keep the nose and mouth well-covered to catch the particles, and glasses are helpful for keeping spray droplets out of the eyes.

Rubber or latex gloves should be worn when you enter the sick room or when cleaning, and hand sanitizer should contain at least 60% alcohol.

Having a separate supply of paper towels, soap, a nail brush and tissues for the ill person will assist in keeping the healthy individuals healthy.

Medical supplies include cough drops or lozenges to keep the throat moist, over-the-counter cold medicines, saline nasal spray to keep nasal passages moist, a thermometer and age-appropriate pain relievers, such as Tylenol or acetaminophen.

Food and drink should include comforting, high-calorie but nutrient-dense foods, a daily multivitamin and vitamin C and electrolyte-replacing drinks. If using sports drinks, cut it in half with water. Extra sugar can cause gastrointestinal distress and diarrhea. Comfort foods with high-calorie and protein content and nutrients include applesauce, avocados and chicken soup.

To review symptoms, call the Schneck Medical Center coronavirus hotline at 812 524-4266.

To keep up to date on the coronavirus, visit