Is it ok to visit a nursing home if I’ve potentially been exposed to coronavirus?

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Two nursing homes in the UK have temporarily closed their doors to all visitors. These actions were issued after healthcare visitors to the care homes tested positive for coronavirus.

As of today, over 2,000 deaths from coronavirus have taken place in China, where the virus emerged last month. It is now evident that chronically ill and elderly people are more susceptible to infection. Therefore, the vast majority of cases where coronavirus led to death have been in people who were sick before they contracted the virus or older people.

Do you have a loved one living in a nursing home or another type of senior care community? If so, you may want to think twice before visiting. Especially if you have recently travelled to Asia or a country where coronavirus is present.

In countries like the USA and the UK, there have been very few reported cases. Therefore, the decision to accept visitors is up to each care provider based on the information they have available. It is best to contact your loved one’s nursing home or adult day center to ask before visiting, especially if you have travelled to an area where coronavirus has been reported.

What protective measures can I take against coronavirus?

The coronavirus is prevented in the same way you prevent cold and flu viruses. Simply practice basic hand and respiratory hygiene.

Wash your hands regularly with soap and water or alcohol-based gel sanitizer.

Cover your mouth with a tissue or your sleeve when coughing or sneezing. Follow up with hand sanitizing and/or throwing away your tissue immediately. Many people in direct contact with people exposed to coronavirus or living in countries with outbreaks are choosing to wear facemasks.

Keep a distance of 1 metre (3 feet) between yourself and other people, especially those who are coughing, sneezing or have a fever.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth

When should I be concerned about my health?

If you have mild respiratory symptoms and no travel history to or within China, carefully practice basic respiratory and hand hygiene and stay home until you are recovered, if possible.

Seek medical attention promptly if you have respiratory symptoms and have been in contact with someone with coronavirus. Additionally, seek medical attention if you experience fever, cough, or difficulty breathing and you have travelled where there has been a coronavirus outbreak.

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