The Regional Municipality Of York

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Are you caring for someone with COVID-19?

COVID-19 can spread between people who are in close contact with each other. Close contacts are people who have cared for you or you have cared for, people you have visited, spent time with at work or who have come to your home. The spread can happen when an infected person talks, coughs or sneezes and you are exposed to their respiratory droplets. The virus can also be transmitted when a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touches their own mouth, nose, or eyes with unwashed hands. Virus droplets may remain infectious for several hours on surfaces, depending on where they fall.

If you are caring for, or living with someone who has, or is suspected of having COVID-19, there are things you can do to protect yourself and your family.

Wash your hands thoroughly and often

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and often for at least 20 seconds, including between your fingers, under your fingernails and your wrists. Dry your hands with a disposable paper towel. If a cloth towel is used, dedicate that towel to one person and replace it when wet
  • If hands are not visibly dirty, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be used to clean your hands
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands

Wear a surgical mask and gloves

  • Wear a surgical mask when you have contact with the infected person and ask them to put on a mask before you enter their room
  • Wear gloves when you touch or have contact with any blood, stool, or body fluids, such as saliva, mucus, vomit, and urine. Make sure you throw out gloves into a lined garbage pail and wash your hands right away
  • Dispose of gloves and masks after use— take the gloves and mask off right after you provide care and dispose of them in a lined garbage bin

This video provides more tips on how to properly apply, remove and dispose of face coverings and gloves during COVID-19.

Avoid sharing household items

  • Use a separate bedroom and bathroom. The person who is sick should stay in their own room or an area away from others and they should use a separate bathroom if possible
  • Avoid sharing any personal items with others that can come into contact with saliva, such as toothbrushes, eating utensils, cups/bottles, towels, or bedding
  • After use, these items should be washed in warm water with soap or detergent. No special soap is needed
  • Dishwashers can be used


  • Clean and disinfect all frequently touched surfaces in your home, including bathroom and toilet surfaces, at least once a day and when contaminated with respiratory secretions. Clean with detergent (soap) and water, then disinfect with an over the counter disinfectant
  • Clean and disinfect thermometers after each use
  • Clean high-touch surfaces such as phones, remotes and toys often and with regular household cleaners
  • Wash laundry thoroughly, no special soap is needed
  • There is no need to separate laundry, but you should wear disposable gloves when handling and wash your hands right away when you are finished
  • Dry laundry on hot
  • Do not shake dirty laundry
  • Wash hands after putting clothes in the dryer
  • Clean and disinfect clothes hampers

Be careful when touching waste

All waste can go into lined garbage bins. Lining the wastebasket with a plastic bag makes waste disposal easier and safer. Be careful not to touch used tissues with your hands and always clean your hands with soap and water after emptying a wastebasket.

Limit visitors

Do not have visitors to your home, if possible. Only have visitors who you must see and keep the visits short. Older adults and people with chronic medical conditions, or those at high risk for developing severe illness from COVID-19, should not visit or provide care to an infected person. Continue to practice safe physical distancing by staying two metres away from others.


  • If you or the person you are caring for requires urgent medical attention, use a private vehicle for transport –do not use public transportation
  • Wear a surgical/procedural mask if you are transporting a person you are caring for in a car. They should also wear a surgical mask
  • Have the person you are caring for sit as far away as possible from the driver (e.g. in the rear passenger seat) with the window open (weather permitting)
  • Clean any touched vehicle surfaces with detergent (soap) and water, then disinfect with an over the counter disinfectant

If you are a close contact who is living with, or caring for someone with a case of COVID-19, you should also be self-isolating and taking precautions, such as remaining home, monitoring for symptoms and informing your own close contacts. More advice on self-isolation is available .

If other members of your household start to have symptoms, call York Region Public Health immediately at 1-800-361-5653. Remember, symptoms of COVID-19 can take up to 14 days to appear.

To learn more about York Region’s response to COVID-19, please visit

caring,living with,COVID-19 If you are caring for, or living with someone who has, or is suspected of having COVID-19, there are things you can do to protect yourself and your family. The Regional Municipality of York en-US News

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