When Covid enters the house, what should we do?
If a vaccinated child is highly exposed to Covid at home but is still healthy, parents might consider keeping that child at home to protect others. The masks retire at lunch. But this measure would go beyond the federal recommendations, and only one expert I spoke to recommended it.
Should I try to reduce exposure in the household, even if it seems futile?
As parents know, the term “close contact” takes on a whole new meaning with young children, who seem to have an uncanny ability to sneeze in the face. Even so, experts agreed that reducing exposure to other people’s illnesses was worth it.
There is a small window of time where this is particularly important – between exposure and when the immune system begins to fully engage.
Parents have to take care of the children, and some siblings just can’t be separated. Still, there are steps you can take. Whoever gets sick first should be in their own room, if possible. Put a HEPA filter in there, if you have one. Try to have the sick person stay indoors for meals. Wear high quality masks when family members are together.
Open the window. Place another HEPA filter, if you have two, where other family members spend time. Another pro tip: Keep the air at 40 to 60 percent humidity, which helps stop aerosol transmission, Dr. Pirzada said, by using a hygrometer or humidifier to gauge the level.
Use common sense. Once air filters work, windows are cracked and masks are worn when possible; trying more may seem like too much if a young child is sick. “If my child was sick, my natural instinct would be to take care of them,” said Dr Linsey Marr, a leading expert on viral transmission. “I could see raising my hands, counting on the vaccine and my good health to prevent me from getting seriously ill and cuddling with my child.”
The good news is that once you’ve tested positive, exposure to other family members who also test positive is unlikely to make you sicker, experts agreed. And family members who recover first are unlikely to be reinfected by those who are still sick.