What is the difference between isolation and quarantine?
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As we face the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic together – as a community, as a country, and around the world – Christian Health (CHCC) continues to prioritize the health, safety, and protection of all those entrusted to our care and in the community. It can be difficult to navigate the flood of information and determine the best practices to implement to protect your health and safety, as well as that of those around you. We will continue to share important information that may make it easier for you to do so.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, you’ve likely heard about the importance of isolating and quarantining. But what is the difference? Isolation and quarantine help protect the public by preventing exposure to people who have or may have a contagious disease, such as COVID-19.
Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.
- Isolation separates and restricts the movement of sick people so they can’t spread disease to healthy people.
- Isolation is a routine procedure in hospitals and health-care facilities.
- Isolation is voluntary, but in a public-health emergency, officials have the authority to isolate people who are sick.
Additionally, self-isolation is a public-health strategy where individuals who are sick or have been exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19 are separated from well persons. The sick individuals should not go to work or other public places, and should have minimal contact with other persons or pets in their home. Anyone in self-isolation should monitor symptoms, and take his/her temperature at least twice per day. If symptoms do not improve, and the person feels that a medical evaluation is needed, he/she should call his/her health-care provider. If directed to go to a medical facility, call ahead first and wear a face mask.
Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.
- Quarantined people may or may not become sick.
- Quarantined people may stay at home so they don’t spread disease to healthy people.
- If you are quarantined and you become ill, you can seek medical treatment from a health-care provider.
- Quarantine is voluntary, but in a public-health emergency, officials have the authority to quarantine people who have been exposed to an infectious disease.
For more information about the difference between quarantine and isolation, visit the CDC website.
To learn about CHCC’s full preparedness action plan, visit ChristianHealthCare.org or call CHCC’s dedicated COVID-19 information line at (201) 848-4400.