For Families Not Equipped for COVID-19 Self-Isolation – Tiny Homes
During a pandemic, such as Covid-19, self-isolation is necessary to prevent spread of the virus throughout the tribal community. Each tribal family residing on the reservation must take it upon themselves to prepare, to the best of their ability, a response plan if someone they live with tests positive or is exhibiting dangerous symptoms of Covid-19. This should include family discussion about how to maintain social distancing and designating a room within the home that can serve as a “self-isolation” site.
In the event that tribal members and families on the reservation cannot properly respond to and implement self-isolation measures, the Tribe has set up tiny homes which will be available, on a limited basis, for use as self-isolation sites. These homes have been set up for use only when self-isolation is not possible within their primary residence and with proof of hardship or dire circumstances.
What does it mean to self-quarantine?
Self-QUARANTINE means to stay in place, either at home or elsewhere, after you have come in close contact with a person who recently tested positive for the coronavirus. Self-quarantine helps prevent the spread of the virus outside the home. Obviously, people living in your home are still vulnerable to infection. Covid-19 can readily spread from one individual to another.
What is self-isolation?
Self-ISOLATION takes self-quarantine one step further. Self-isolation means separating yourself inside your home from family members and friends (even pets) after you test positive for Covid-19 or begin showing concerning symptoms, such as dry cough, fever, sore throat, achiness, loss of smell, etc. For reasons unknown, some individuals infected with the virus do not experience symptoms but can still spread the virus to other people. These are known as asymptomatic carriers. If you are one of those individuals, you still need to self-isolate to keep those around you safe.
What if my home is not equipped for self-isolation?
Some households simply are not equipped for effective self-isolation. For example, a home may be too small for uninfected household members to safety distance themselves from the sick individual. In some cases, the sick individual might be someone you were already caring for before he or she got sick with the virus. That individual may not be able to self-isolate because he or she is dependent on the assistance of others.
When the tiny houses are completed and ready for move in, the Squaxin Island Tribe is generously providing these tiny houses for community members to address these challenges. In households where a sick individual cannot safely self-isolate, either the sick person or the family members (who test negative for the virus) can temporarily move into one of the tiny houses until the sick person can safely be reunited with their family and community.
How long should I or my family expect to remain in self-isolation?
Expect quarantine to last about two weeks. The Squaxin Island Health Clinic will monitor the health status of the sick individual daily. The clinic will determine the exact amount of time the sick individual should remain in self-isolation, for his or her safety and the safety of other tribal members.
Can I still visit the sick person in isolation?
Uninfected family members can still visit through the window. Video chat options like FaceTime, Skype, and Zoom, among others, are other ways of staying in close contact.
How will I get groceries, medications, or other items, like laundry, while in isolation?
There are so many wonderful benefits to living near family. Since we live in such close proximity to each other, it is easy to help with groceries, pick up medications, and share things. The Tribe encourages everyone to work together, with his or her family and friends, in this time of need.
To lower the risk of person-to-person transmission items should be left on doorsteps. You can call, knock, or ring the doorbell to let them know it is there.
If family is unavailable, the Tribe will provide “staff” to assist sick individuals with critical tasks, such as picking up groceries and prescriptions, so the sick individual can remain safely in place.
What if I get infected and have a caregiver?
If a person receiving care in his or her home contracts the virus, it is recommended that only one other person, such as the sick individual’s caregiver, remain in the home – and practice safe distancing to the fullest extent possible – while other uninfected family members move into a tiny house.
Again, families should expect to remain in the tiny house for about two weeks before returning home. If needed, the health clinic will keep in touch daily to ensure the best care for the sick individual and to protect other tribal members from infection.