Preparing the Household for a COVID-19 Community Outbreak

Preparing the Household for a COVID-19 Community Outbreak

Visit Vector Cares to view the released Complimentary Coronavirus (COVID19) Video Resources. A series of videos have been created to help and inform the community.

Coronavirus 101: What You Need to Know

Coronavirus: 102 Preparing Your Household

Stay tuned for additional videos for the series to be released soon. The video series will be loaded complimentary to all current CELEXA clients. [/vc_column_text]During these uncertain times it is crucial to prepare the household and communities for transmission of COVID-19. Vector Solutions cares for the safety and wellness of our clients, so we are sharing practical guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to assist with preparing for community transmission of COVID-19. These include:

  • Understanding the steps to take prior to an outbreak in the community
  • Understanding the steps to take while an outbreak is occurring
  • Understanding the steps to take post-outbreak

The extent of a community transmission outbreak can last for weeks. Creating a household plan, including all loved ones, will ease the stress and worry an outbreak can drum up. Being prepared beforehand, will better equip you during an outbreak. STEPS TO TAKE PRIOR TO AN OUTBREAK IN THE COMMUNITY

Identifying the household

Individual household plans will be unique and based on the needs and daily routines of the household members. Talk, meet and include all that need to be considered in the household plan. This can include, but is not limited to, children, spouses, relatives and neighbors. As a group, it is crucial to discuss and determine what should be done when an outbreak occurs in the community.

Identify those at greater risk

It is critical to determine whom, if any, are at greater risk for serious complications for COVID-19. Specifically plan for older adults and those with severe chronic medical conditions, such as; heart, lung or kidney disease. We recommend consulting with the family’s healthcare provider for more information about monitoring your health for symptoms suggestive of COVID-19. Note, access to several weeks of medications and supplies in case shelter in place extends for a prolonged period of time should be considered.

Get to know your neighbors

Neighbors are the backbone of the community and ensuring an outbreak doesn’t spread any faster than it should. In order to flatten the curve of the spread of COVD-19, we recommend getting to know the neighbors. There are many neighborhood watch websites or create a social media outlet page to stay connected with one another. It’s important to keep the entire neighborhood in the know of the emergency plan and individual needs.Create an emergency contact list

To ensure that no one is left out, it’s important to create an emergency contact list. This list should include, but not limited to, family, friends, neighbors, carpool drivers, health care providers, teachers, employers, the local public health department and other community resources. It may be considered to include a list of local organizations that the household can contact in the event access to information, healthcare services, support, and resources are needed. During a crisis, it is also important to consider mental health care. Get to know the community mental health or counseling services, food bank, shelters and other supply services.

Practice Good Healthy Habits

Encourage all family members to practice good healthy habits that can help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses. This includes, washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, as recommended by CDC – (if soap and water is not available, use hand sanitizer that contain at least 60% alcohol), avoiding close contact with someone who is sick, staying home with anyone from the household who is sick, covering coughs & sneezes with a tissue and immediately toss it away, don’t touch your face, clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily. If surfaces are dirty, start by using a household cleaning solution and water, then use disinfectant solution.

Choose specific rooms for isolating sick individuals

Identify a specific room and bathroom for those that are showing symptoms to use, if possible. Ensure that the rooms are frequently cleaned when those that are sick are using them. Remember the tip for cleaning surfaces. The touched surfaces should be cleaned every couple of days.


Put the Household Plan Into Action

Keep an appropriate distance

It’s important to stay home in a specific room if family members are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Symptoms include: fever, cough and difficulty breathing. By doing so, you are protecting the community and helping with flattening the curve of the global spread. If there are known members of the community that are ill, keep your distance. It is recommended to communicate via phone, but if in-person contact is necessary, keep at least 6ft of distance. Try to only leave the house for essential outings.

Stay informed

Stay informed with the local community outbreak situation. Get up-to-date information from public health officials. Be aware of all local and federal government messaging and understand how it affects the household. There are multiple resources reporting the current guidelines for the Nation to follow every day. Remember, keep informed, but don’t let it consume the day.

Continue Practice of Good Healthy Habits

It is strongly encouraged for members of the community to stay home for those who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Daily preventative actions include: cover coughs & sneezes with a tissue, wash hands with soap & water before eating and returning home, clean frequently touched surfaces & objects. Try not to share anything with a sick family member and provide clean disposable face masks, if available, to help prevent spreading the virus to others in the household.

Stay in Touch

Not all members of a community live with others. Those who are at high risk, ask family, health physicians and friends to check on them during an outbreak. It’s important to regularly check-in with others to ensure those alone are not in need of help. Take care of the emotional health of household members. Outbreaks can be stressful and bring up a lot of anxiety for adults and children. Children respond differently to stress than adults do. Make it a point to talk with them, stay calm and reassure them that they are safe.

Discourage Public Outings

It’s true that most feel lonely during this time. However, it is important to not gather together in groups publicly, instead meet virtually. Discourage young adults and teens from gathering in public places while school is dismissed to help slow the spread of the outbreak in the community.

Review and Improve

Please note, an outbreak could last quite some time. The impact on individuals, households and communities can be detrimental. Until public health officials have confirmed the outbreak has ended in your community, take this time to improve your household’s plan. Review and discuss lessons learned; talk about problems found in the plan & create effective solutions and identify additional resources that were needed. Note if the preparedness was effective at home, work or school.


Check-in with the emotional health

Take time to unwind and remind the household that strong feelings will fade. A few options to unwind include: Taking breaks from watching, listening or reading the news stories, connecting with friends & family, sharing your concerns on how you are feeling with others. Providing opportunities for children to talk through what they went through or how they think about it encourages a healthy transition back to normalcy. A community outbreak should be taken seriously. Showing concern, preparing the household and taking action prior, during and after an outbreak is ultimately keeping the community safe.

Thank you for reading and stay safe!

Helpful links:

CDC Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidelines

World Health Organization – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public



Want to Know More?

Reach out and a Vector Solutions representative will respond back to help answer any questions you might have.