Coronavirus: What you need to isolate in your home if you test positive for COVID-19

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Health experts urge you to have a plan in place in case someone living in your home tests positive for COVID-19.

Jen Bercier and her large family traditionally start Thanksgiving every year by running a Turkey Trot before heading indoors for some holiday cheer. That's out this year. They will walk around the neighborhood and gather for some quick socially distanced holiday cheer outside - but that's it.

"We're all very interested in keeping each other safe," Bercier said.

The family includes her mother in her 70s and grandmother who turns 100 next year. Plus, she has two college kids coming home for the holiday, so staying safe could be a challenge.

The head of Chicago's health department says families should plan for the worst and know what to do if someone in the home does test positive for COVID-19, especially during the current surge in cases.

"We certainly are seeing a lot of people who tell us that they have done everything right, or they feel as though they've been following all the rules and they still have come down with COVID-19," said Dr. Emily Landon, with University of Chicago Medicine.

Doctors say there are a number of steps you can take to plan ahead in the event someone in your house comes down with COVID-19.

Here are Dr. Landon's suggestions:

1. Be prepared with medicine and hydrating fluids on hand.

2. Be ready for the patient to sleep separately in a different room, if possible.

3. Have a mask and eye protection, like a face shield, on hand.

4. If you have to share a bathroom, clean it multiple times a day.

Doctors say the spread of the virus can be prevented in many households.

"Household contact rates are between 10 and 60 percent," Dr. Landon said.

Bercier said she and her family have managed to avoid anyone coming down with the virus so far - and they hope to keep it that way.
Copyright © 2020 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.