UW Health experts speak to importance of isolating when sick

Face mask

MADISON, Wis. — As COVID-19 cases remain at record-high levels, isolating can be the difference between spreading the virus or not.

If you test positive for COVID-19, UW Health experts say you should isolate for at least five days, even if you’re asymptomatic.

However, that becomes a tricky task if you live with family or roommates. Interim medical director of infection prevention Dan Shirley says the best thing to do is have a game plan.

“It will make this isolation time more comfortable and easier to navigate,” Shirley said. “Those living with you can bring you food, mail or other necessities, give you someone to talk with – albeit ideally with distance between you and with everyone masked.”

Shirley said getting vaccinated with a booster dose can also help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Here are some tips health experts give for if you’re isolating at home.

  • Stay in a separate room
  • Use a separate bathroom, if possible
  • Try to improve ventilation at your home
  • Avoid contact with other household members and pets
  • Do not share personal items like cups, towels, and utensils
  • Wear a well-fitting mask if you have to be around other people
  • Observe your symptoms, and if they become severe seek emergency medical care.