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My spouse has CLL-not currently active. I work as a manager in a grocery store with front facing contact with customers. What should I do to mitigate my exposure and in turn bringing it home, potentially exposing my spouse, or should I take a leave of absence from my job?
You really to ask your husband’s and your doctors on this.
The guidelines vary, but below are the ones from the UK government COVID-19 advice for “shielding” the “extremely vulnerable”, a group that includes your husband and address your important question. They come right after listing what the extremely vulnerable should do themselves. To see more, click here, but it boils down to primarily staying home. The spelling is British, not American.
What should you do if you have someone else living with you?
While the rest of your household are not required to adopt these protective shielding measures for themselves, we would expect them to do what they can to support you in shielding and to stringently follow guidance on social distancing.
- Minimise as much as possible the time other family members spend in shared spaces such as kitchens, bathrooms and sitting areas, and keep shared spaces well ventilated.
- Aim to keep 2 metres (3 steps) away from people you live with and encourage them to sleep in a different bed where possible. If you can, you should use a separate bathroom from the rest of the household. Make sure you use separate towels from the other people in your house, both for drying themselves after bathing or showering and for hand-hygiene purposes.
- If you do share a toilet and bathroom with others, it is important that they are cleaned after use every time (for example, wiping surfaces you have come into contact with). Another tip is to consider drawing up a rota for bathing, with you using the facilities first.
- If you share a kitchen with others, avoid using it while they are present. If you can, you should take your meals back to your room to eat. If you have one, use a dishwasher to clean and dry the family’s used crockery and cutlery. If this is not possible, wash them using your usual washing up liquid and warm water and dry them thoroughly. If you are using your own utensils, remember to use a separate tea towel for drying these.
- We understand that it will be difficult for some people to separate themselves from others at home. You should do your very best to follow this guidance and everyone in your household should regularly wash their hands, avoid touching their face, and clean frequently touched surfaces.
If the rest of your household stringently follow advice on social distancing and minimise the risk of spreading the virus within the home by following the advice above, there is no need for them to also shield alongside you.
So, as I said, I would check with your and his doctors and be brutally honest about what you can and can’t do at work and at home. They can best advise you.