How to self-quarantine: Steps to take to keep family members & pets safe if you test positive for COVID-19

BOSTON — Now that Massachusetts is under a state of emergency and officials say the number of cases has climbed to 92, there is a lot of focus on preventing the spread of the disease.

But, what do you do if you’ve tested positive or come into close contact with someone who has? Health officials recommend self-quarantine, but that raises a series of questions, especially if you live with other people or have pets.

According to the CDC, if you’ve been exposed to the virus, the recommendation is you should self-quarantine for 14 days. If you’re asymptomatic after that, you should be in the clear.

Health officials say disinfecting any and all surfaces, doorknobs, railings - basically anything you touch regularly - is a must. If you live with other people, keeping spaces as safe and sanitary as possible can prevent others from becoming infected, but remember, COVID-19 can be contracted by standing just 6 feet away from someone who has the disease.

Since the virus spreads mostly through droplets and can live on most surfaces for a long time, it’s a good idea to disinfect them consistently and make sure not to touch your face. Washing hands regularly with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds and using hand sanitizer is a basic practice even for those not under quarantine.

The CDC also recommends increasing airflow and ventilation in the house, especially in rooms like the kitchen or living room where multiple family members come every day.

As for sleeping, the CDC says the person under self-quarantine should sleep in a separate room and use their own bathroom, if possible.

While it might sound like common sense, the CDC also says to try to catch a sneeze or a cough in a tissue or your elbow and wash your hands right away afterward.

Despite there being a low risk for pets to contract the disease, the CDC says you should limit contact with your furry best friend. For dog owners, hiring or asking someone else to walk your dog is a better idea than to leave the house and risk infecting others.

Finally, those under self-quarantine should stock up on groceries or have someone else do it for them - either a family, friend or by ordering the items you need to be delivered right to your door.

For more information, visit the CDC’s website.

You can find additional news and information on coronavirus here.