COVID-19 Self Care Guidelines for Quarantine and Isolation - CDC


If you have to quarantine or isolate yourself due to COVID-19, the CDC recommends following certain guidelines for taking care of yourself, while keeping others safe. Their guidance covers areas such as:

  • symptom check

  • medical attention

  • hydration rest and medication

  • mask wearing

  • testing

  • hygiene

  • cleaning 

Understanding these recommendations will help you take informed actions throughout your quarantine, self-isolation experience.



General Self-Care Recommendations

Tracking your symptoms is a critical To-Do priority during your quarantine, self-isolation time. According to the CDC, you need to monitor your symptoms, or the development of symptoms for 5 days. If your symptoms persist, continue staying at home. However, if they resolve (including being fever-free for at least 24 hours), you may then discontinue your quarantine/ self-isolation time.


Common Symptoms of COVID-19

Typical symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • fever

  • chills

  • cough

  • shortness of breath

  • body/muscle aches

  • headaches

  • loss of smell or taste

  • nausea

  • runny nose, congestion

  • diarrhea

  • vomiting

However, if you experience emergency symptoms call 911 right away. These include:

  • skin color changes

  • breathing difficulties

  • ongoing chest-pressure and/or pain

  • trouble waking or staying awake


Doctor Visits and Appointments

During quarantine or self-isolation, you may not go out except for medical and health visits. See if you can use telemedicine services for basic checks. These days, many doctors are postponing routine visits, placing more importance on serious issues. 

If you need to see your provider in person right away, call and tell them that you have a COVID-19 issue and they will prioritize your case. Plus, calling in advance allows them to take protection measures for their staff and patients.


Quarantine Self Care

The CDC recommends the following self-care measures during your time at-home.

  • stay well-hydrated and rest. 

  • take OTC medications like acetaminophen if needed

  • report your case using a contact tracing app

Also wash your hands as often as possible throughout the day. The standard guideline is to use soap and water, while rubbing your hands together for at least 10 seconds. Wash your hands especially after touching your face, coughing or sneezing. Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands. 

If you do not have easy access to soap and water, use hand-sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. 


Household Items and Cleaning

Do not share household items with other people at home. This includes:

  • dishes

  • cups and drinking glasses

  • utensils

  • towels

  • Bedding

Wash these items thoroughly after use. Also, clean surfaces using household products. To disinfect, (i.e., kill germs), use EPA List N disinfectants. 

Clean your sick room and bathroom daily using disposable gloves. 

If someone is there to take care of you, have them familiarize themselves with CDC recommendations