COVID-19 preparedness: Here's what you should have in your 14-day quarantine pandemic kit

Thursday, September 3, 2020
Here's what you should have in your 14-day COVID-19 quarantine kit
What should you have on hand if you test positive for the novel coronavirus? A medical expert breaks down what you should have in your pandemic kit to quarantine for 14 days.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Depending on where you live, you know natural disasters happen. In the West, we've got earthquakes and wildfires. On the East and Gulf Coasts, hurricanes. In the South and Midwest, they need to worry about tornadoes.

In all those disasters, you should have supplies on hand for when they hit.

The novel coronavirus pandemic is no different. So, what should you have in your emergency quarantine kit?

"Cases are rising. You can still get sick," said ABC7 News special medical correspondent Dr. Alok Patel. "You might need to quarantine at home or by yourself or with a loved one for 14 days."

That's right two weeks. 336 hours. 20,160 minutes. At home. Staying away from, well, everyone.

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"Your emergency kit should have least 14 days of supplies in it," said Patel.

If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, you are likely infectious. Meaning you shouldn't be running to the grocery store or pharmacy to get things to make you feel better.

"First things first, make absolute sure you have 14 days' worth of food. Not only for yourself, but anyone else you may be taking care of, that means children, any other dependent, and your pet," said Patel.

Stock up on foods that have a long shelf life. Things like canned foods, soups, dry pasta, and of course, make sure you have a good supply of clean water, not just to drink, but to keep things clean.

"Since we are talking about disinfecting, make sure you have enough home cleaner, especially if you are quarantined at home, and you are trying to stay away from someone else in your living space," said Patel.

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That also means everyone should have a designated trash can to throw away any of those used tissues, to keep the virus from spreading from person to person.

To keep those contaminated droplets from spreading, you also want to make sure you have Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

"We all have to make sure we have enough PPE in the supply kit. That you have enough gloves and masks," said Patel.

That includes having plenty of hand sanitizer too.

Doctor Patel says, "And you want to make sure that hand sanitizer has 60% alcohol in it."

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While you are stocking up your pandemic kit, you should also pick up any over-the-counter medications you need. Things like pain relievers, fever reducers, or allergy medications.

"Make sure you have enough prescription meds for those two weeks as well," said Patel.

It is also a good idea to have a thermometer to keep track of your temperature, and pulse oximeter to monitor your oxygen levels. Don't forget to have any medical records you may need, including your insurance card, and doctor's phone number handy.

Your pandemic kit should also have anything else you and your family need to make it through two weeks at home.

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"Think about everything you might need to keep everyone sane and safe for those two weeks, and you will be set," said Patel.

And yes, that does include keeping a supply of toilet paper on hand. But you probably already have that.

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