Coronavirus

When you’re self-isolating, what should other household members do?


The territorial government reiterated self-isolation requirements after Covid-19 cases in Yellowknife raised questions about advice to households.

Two positive tests in the city, confirmed this week, came about after one person returned to a household and subsequently infected another household member.

The second household member was not isolating, which resulted in a Covid-19 exposure warning being issued for a local gym and the city’s RCMP detachment.

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Since that news became public, there has been some confusion about what, exactly, households must do if one person is required to self-isolate.

“If you self-isolate in your home, you need to be able to self-isolate from your family members,” the territory’s chief public health officer, Dr Kami Kandola, told CBC North’s Trailbreaker on Thursday morning.

“Typically, what we see is people coming in and staying in their basement. They have a separate bathroom. They are staying in a room, food is being brought to them,” said Kandola. “They are distancing from the rest of the family and self-isolating.”

At a news conference on Wednesday evening, Kandola had stressed the importance of people developing isolation plans that meant isolating from family in the same home, too.

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“Stay away from other household members and use a separate bathroom if you have one. If you must share toilet facilities, they should be cleaned daily,” reads advice on the territory’s website.

“Avoid sharing household items. You should not share drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, pillows or other items with people in your home. After using these items you should clean them.”

Kandola said if that advice proves impossible to follow, household members must all isolate together.

“In general, when we say self-isolation plan, it involves an ability to self-isolate from your family members,” she told the CBC.

“If you can’t, your family members should isolate with you for that duration.”

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