Quarantine is for people who are sick and don’t have any symptoms, but who have been exposed to COVID-19. If you have been exposed to COVID-19, the Health Department will ask you to quarantine for 14 days.
If you have been traveling and are around someone who has the virus, or if someone in your household tests positive for the virus, or if you are in a large group of people with COVID-19 or in close contact with someone who has it, you need to quarantine for 14 days.
Quarantine keeps you away from others so you don’t infect someone else.
There are several things you should do on quarantine. First and foremost, you should stay home for the full 14 days. You should also limit the number of visitors to your home. Also, leave your house only if you have to or to get medical care. And, try to stay at least six feet away from other people. Lastly, clean surfaces that are touched often, such as phones, doorknobs, light switches, toilet handles, sink handles, countertops, and anything metal.
This is called social distancing. Stay home as much as possible. Ask someone else to go to the store for you to get groceries or supplies. If that is not possible, try to go only when you have to. This is important because it slows the spread of the virus.
Even if you aren’t sick or don’t have any symptoms, you should stay home from work, school, or church. Avoiding crowds protects you and your family. If you have to be around anyone, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer. If you are older than 60 or have other health problems, just stay home and away from other people.
During your quarantine, there are two ways you may be asked to monitor your symptoms. One way is called “active monitoring.” Active monitoring is where someone from your local health department will call you once a day to check on you and ask you how you’re feeling. If you miss their call, call them back as soon as possible.
The other way is called “self monitoring.” self monitoring is when the health department will not call you every day. Instead, you will be asked to call them only if you get sick or start to have other symptoms while you are quarantined.
But no matter what, if you have a fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches, sore throat, or a decrease in your sense of taste or smell, call a doctor or the Southeast Idaho Department of Health.
Also, it could take up to 14 days to know if you are sick with COVID-19 if you have been exposed. So, it is important to write down your temperature and symptoms every day. Take your temperature twice a day for the full 14 days, once in the morning and once in the evening. If you forget to take your temperature, take it as soon as you remember. And remember to clean the thermometer every time you use it.
If you feel like you need to see a doctor right away, call and tell them you are being monitored for COVID-19 before you go to their office. If your temperature is 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, you have a fever.
If you get sick on quarantine, call your doctor and the health department. You may need to be tested for COVID-19. You also need to self-isolate right away.
Self-Isolation is for people who are sick or have tested positive for COVID-19. Everyone who lives in your home should stay at home if someone in your house tests positive for the virus. Self-isolation is for people who are not sick enough to be in the hospital, but need to recover at home. Isolation keeps the person who is sick with the virus away from the healthy people in the house so the virus doesn’t spread.
When you are self-isolating, you should try to stay in different rooms than the rest of the people in the house. You should also use different bathrooms than the other people. Also, clean surfaces that you touch often, such as phones, doorknobs, light switches, toilet handles, sink handles, countertops, and anything metal. Do not travel! Also, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough or sneeze. Wash you hands with soap and water right after you cough, sneeze, or blow your nose, or at least use sanitizer. You should try to wear a face mask if you have to be around other people, especially if you have to be in the same room or in a car with them. If you can’t wear a face mask because it makes it hard to breathe, stay in a different room from the other people. If people come into your room, they should wear a face mask.
If you tested positive and had symptoms, you should stay isolated from other people until you have been fever-free and your symptoms have gotten better for at least three days and it has been at least 10 days since you first got sick. Other people in your home should quarantine for 14 days since the last time they were around you. Everyone in your house should quarantine until everyone is better.
If you tested positive for COVID-19 but never had symptoms, you can stop self-isolation 10 days after you tested positive.
If you test negative, you must finish your 14-day quarantine even if you don’t feel sick.
The key is if you practice quarantine and self-isolation, it should stop most, but not all, of the spread of COVID-19 to other people you come in close contact with. COVID-19 is most easily spread when you have symptoms. Once you have recovered from the virus, it is much less likely you will spread it to someone else.
Let’s be responsible and do what is required of us during this time of COVID-19. Either quarantine or self-isolate, whichever is required of you, so that others don’t get the virus and keep spreading this awful disease to others. Let’s try to stop or at least slow the spread as much as we can.