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Quarantine, Isolation and Social Distancing. What They Mean and When To Practice Them.

Isolation, quarantine and social distancing are public health practices used to protect the public by preventing exposure to people who have or may have a contagious disease. But what do these terms mean?

Isolation: is use to separate infected people with the virus (those who are sick with COVID-19 and those with no symptoms) from those who are not infected. People who are in isolation should stay home until it’s safe for them to be around other’s. In the home, anyone infected or sick should separate themselves from others by staying in an specific “sick room” or area and using a separate bathroom (if available).

Quarantine: is use to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others, monitor their health, and follow directions from their state or local health department.

Social Distancing: also called, “physical distancing”, means keeping space between yourself and other people outside of your home. To practice social or physical distancing:

  • Stay at least six feet (about two arms’ length) from other people
  • Do not gather in groups
  • Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings

Limiting close face-to-face contact with others is the best way to reduce the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). By doing your part, you make a big difference in your health, and the health of those around you.

Learn more about Quarantine and Isolation.

For Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) information, visit the CDC’s  Social Distancing, Quarantine, and Isolation page.