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What if the roommate has to be quarantined?

By Christian Glass | December 22, 2020, 4:19 a.m.

If a roommate is in quarantine, particular attention must be paid to hygiene and cleanliness in the household. You should also always keep a distance from one another. Whether you have to go into quarantine yourself depends on the circumstances.

If you have had contact with someone infected with corona or if you come from a risk area, there is a possibility of having infected yourself. As long as it is not yet clear whether this is actually the case, you have to go into quarantine. If you test positive, it can take around ten days for the first signs of Covid-19 to appear. This period of time is called the incubation period. A quarantine of 14 days then generally applies to people with a high risk of infection. For contact persons, the quarantine at home can be reduced to ten days. However, a negative test result must not be available for ten days at the earliest.

As long as there is only suspicion of a corona infection in a family or shared apartment, relatives or roommates do not automatically have to be quarantined. Unless the responsible health department orders such a measure. Until the test result is available, however, all household members should reduce their contacts, stay at home as far as possible and keep their distance and hygiene measures.

Also interesting: Does a rental house have to be quarantined if a neighbor has Corona?

Do you have to be automatically quarantined if the roommate is?

If the suspicion is confirmed by a positive test result and you have / had close contact with the infected person, you also have to go into quarantine. Close contact means: to have spoken to the infected person for at least 15 minutes or to have been sneezed or coughed directly by them. 15 minutes of contact is very little among flatmates. So the probability is high that you will have to quarantine yourself.

Who doesn't have to be quarantined right away? People who have only been in the same room with one infected person in the past two weeks but have not had close contact. This is also rather unlikely in many households.

If possible, stay in separate rooms during the quarantine

People in quarantine should stay away from family members, partners and flatmates as much as possible. In the best case, you should live and sleep in separate rooms. Where this is not possible, a distance of at least 1.5 meters should be maintained. Very important: don't forget to ventilate regularly.

Common spaces should no longer be used together. Where possible, one should also switch to separate bathrooms. Otherwise, as in the whole household, pay close attention to hygiene in the bathroom and toilet! A study in the spring made it clear which three cleaning agents can be particularly effective against the coronavirus: ethanol, hydrogen peroxide and sodium hypochlorite.

Places in the household that are often touched

Frequently touched surfaces should be cleaned daily. A household cleaner and disinfectant are usually sufficient here. Areas particularly affected: bedside lamp, bed frame, bedroom furniture, doorknobs, light switches, smartphones, bathroom surfaces, toilets.

The Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA) explains on its website what further needs to be observed when isolating a sick person in the household.

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