Isolation and quarantine are mitigation measures put in place to help keep those who have tested positive or been exposed to COVID-19 away from others to help prevent the transmission of COVID-19.
Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed through direct contact to see if they become sick. Symptoms can take days after exposure to develop, so quarantine will last 10 days from the date of possible exposure. Close contact is someone who has been closer than 6 feet for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24 hour period.
Those who may have had close contact with someone with COVID-19 who is fully vaccinated (including boosters if eligible) or had a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 90 days do not have to quarantine. They should wear a well-fitting mask around others for 10 days and get tested on day 5, or before if symptoms begin to develop.
If you are tested for COVID-19, you should self-quarantine yourself until you get back results.
If you are exposed and unvaccinated, not fully vaccinated or it has been at least 6 months since your initial series, stay home and away from others for at least 5 days (day 0 is when you were exposed). Wear a well-fitting mask around others at home. Watch for symptoms and get tested if symptoms begin to develop.
After 5 days, it is recommended to get tested, even if you do not have symptoms. If you test negative, you may leave your home, but should continue to wear a mask through day 10. If you test positive, you should self-isolate for at least 5 days from the start of symptoms or the date of the test if you did not have any symptoms.
Avoid people who are immunocompromised and high-risk settings for at least 10 days.
Do not travel during your 10-day quarantine period and do not go places where you are unable to wear a mask, such as a restaurant or a gym.
Isolation separates infected people from non-infected people.
- Stay at home. Do not leave your home except to receive medical care if you need it. Do not go to public places.
- Stay in touch with your doctor and the local health department. If symptoms get worse or you need to leave your home for medical care, call ahead to let them know.
- Separate yourself from others in your home as much as possible. If possible, stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom from others in the household.
- Practice good hand hygiene. Wash your hands for 20 seconds with warm water and soap frequently throughout the day: before you eat, when coming in from outside, after using frequently touched objects, before touching your face.
- Cough or sneeze into a tissue and then throw it away.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces every day. Clean the space you are in every day such as a bedroom and bathroom. Have someone else (if available) clean and disinfect other shared spaces such as the kitchen and the rest of the house.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects such as your phone, doorknob, light switches, TV remote, bedside tables, and tablets/computers
- For an updated list of recommended cleaning practices, visit the CDC website on Cleaning and Disinfecting
- Improve ventilation at home. Bring fresh air into your home if possible by opening doors and windows. Having multiple doors and windows open will help air move inside. Turning on the exhaust fans on your stove and in the bathroom can help move air. Use fans to help move air, if the windows are open, point them outside. The CDC gives more suggestions for improving ventilation.
- Monitor your symptoms. Keep track of your symptoms and get in touch with your provider if they start to get worse.
If you are caring for someone who is ill, know that COVID-19 can be spread through close contact (closer than 6 feet) through respiratory droplets.
- Have the person stay separated in the house, if possible. Have the person who is ill stay in one room, away from others. Use a separate bathroom, if possible. Avoid sharing cups, plates, eating utensils, towels, and bedding
- Have them wear a face mask when around others.
- Wash your hands frequently for 20 seconds with warm water and soap. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol until you can wash your hands.
- Clean and disinfect every day. For an updated list of recommended cleaning practices, visit the CDC website on Cleaning and Disinfecting
- Avoid touching your face
- Wash laundry thoroughly
- Know the signs for when medical attention is needed. Call ahead to your local doctor, urgent care or hospital if care is needed. If calling 911, let the dispatcher know the patient is positive for COVID-19.
For more information, visit the CDC’s website for staying home when sick
Ending isolation – updated guidance from the CDC as of January 4, 2022
- After 5 full days of isolation (day 0 is the first day of symptoms), if you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and other symptoms have improved, you can end isolation. You should continue to wear a well-fitting mask for 5 more days around others. Avoid people who are immunocompromised and high-risk settings. Do not travel or go to places where you cannot wear a mask, such as a restaurant or a gym, until 10 full days after symptoms began.
- If you did not have symptoms after testing positive, you may end isolation after 5 days (day 0 is the day you tested positive). Continue to wear a well-fitting mask for 5 more days around others. If you begin to develop symptoms, start your isolation time over. Avoid people who are immunocompromised and high-risk settings. Do not travel or go to places where you cannot wear a mask, such as a restaurant or a gym, until 10 full days after your positive test.
Contact your place of employment or school directly regarding their policies for ending isolation due to COVID-19.To learn more about recovery and/or ending home isolation Macon County Order of Quarantine & Isolation
Source: Centers for Disease Control