Skip to Content

Coronavirus

Find a Doctor


To search Houston doctors, please select a specialty & submit your Zip Code below.

Advanced Search
Search by Doctor's Name

Schedule Now

What to Do at Home After a COVID-19 Diagnosis

Discharge Instructions for Preventing the Spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 in Homes

When Leaving the Hospital/Clinic/Healthcare Provider:

Wash your hands before putting on the mask. The mask should cover both your mouth and nose, and there should not be gaps between your face and the mask. Keep the mask on until you are alone. Replace the mask with a new one as soon as it is damp. Avoid touching the mask while wearing it; if you do, clean your hands afterwards. Remove the mask from behind (do not touch the front), throw it away immediately after use and then clean your hands. Stay home except to get medical care. You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care. Do not go to work, school or public areas. Consider utilizing resources such as telemedicine and virtual care to receive medical care from home. Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing or taxis.

Monitor your symptoms.

Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening (e.g., difficulty breathing or fever). Before seeking care, call your healthcare provider and tell them that you have been evaluated for COVID-19. Put on a facemask before you enter the facility. These steps will help the healthcare provider’s office to prevent other people in the office or waiting room from getting infected or exposed. Ask your healthcare provider to call the local or state health department. Persons who are placed under active monitoring or facilitated self-monitoring should follow instructions provided by their local health department or occupational health professionals, as appropriate.

If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel that you have been evaluated for COVID-19. If possible, put on a facemask before emergency medical services arrive.

Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home.

People: As much as possible, you should stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available.

Animals: You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a facemask.

Wear a facemask.

You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) or pets and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then people who live with you should not stay in the same room with you, or they should wear a facemask if they enter your room.

Cover your coughs and sneezes.

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues in a lined trash can; immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60% to 95% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty.

Clean your hands often.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60% to 95% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. Avoid sharing personal household items. You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels or bedding with other people or pets in your home. After using these items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water.

Clean all “high-touch” surfaces everyday.

High-touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and bedside tables. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool or body fluids on them. Use a household cleaning spray or wipe, according to the label instructions. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.