We hear the term “quarantine” used frequently in conversations concerning COVID 19. For many it is not clear as to what it means to quarantine, when you should quarantine, and for how long.
Quarantine helps prevent the spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms. Quarantine is used 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.
Who Needs to Quarantine
Individuals who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19—excluding people who have had COVID-19 within the past 3 months – need to quarantine.
People who have tested positive for COVID-19 do not need to quarantine or get tested again for up to 3 months as long as they do not develop symptoms again. Those who develop symptoms again within 3 months of their first bout of COVID-19 may need to be tested again if there is no other cause identified for their symptoms.
What Counts as Close Contact
- You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more
- You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19
- You had direct physical contact with the person (hugged or kissed them)
- You shared eating or drinking utensils
- They sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you
Steps to Take When in Quarantine
- Stay home for 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19
- Watch for fever (100.4◦F), cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19
- If possible, stay away from others, especially people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19
Why 14 days?
It can take up to 14 days after exposure to the virus for a person to develop COVID-19 symptoms. A negative result before the end of the 14-day quarantine period does not rule out possible infection. By self-quarantining for 14 days, you lower the chance of possibly exposing others to COVID-19.
When Does the Clock Start?
You should stay home for 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19. Even if you test negative for COVID-19 or feel healthy, you should quarantine since symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus.
Quarantine or Isolation: What’s the difference?
Quarantine keeps someone who might have been exposed to the virus away from others. Isolation keeps someone who is infected with the virus away from others, even in their home. For more details on what is involved when isolating go to Isolate If You Are Sick.
Rapid COVID 19 antibody testing is available from Blackbird Clinical Services. This test can indicate if individuals have or have had COVID 19, but have not exhibited any symptoms of the disease.
BCS will NOT take any patients that have a current fever or symptoms of COVID-19. We will direct them to their doctor or an urgent care facility.
For those wanting to learn more about the different COVID 19 tests that are available, please give us a call at 765-447-8700 or send us an email at [email protected].