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Isolation and Quarantine Information: Understanding the Difference and Following CDC Guidance
March 31, 2020
Isolation and Quarantine Information: Understanding the Difference and Following CDC Guidance 

Isolation of ill individuals and self-quarantine of exposed individuals are important parts of limiting disease transmission, however many people get confused about the information.  I have defined both below and added some additional information that [is] pertinent.

Isolation:

Isolation measures are put in place for ill individuals with a goal of keeping them away from other individuals, including those in the home.  Current isolation guidance for individuals with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 include staying isolated at home for a minimum of 7 days.  In order to come off of isolation, CDC's guidance states:
County News
People with COVID-19 who have stayed home (home isolated) can stop home isolation under the following conditions:
Quarantine:
Current recommendations for individuals who are [in] close contact (household, close coworkers, exposed healthcare workers, etc.) of an individual with confirmed (or highly suspected) COVID-19 include being quarantined for 14 days following their last exposure to the ill individual.  The individuals placed on quarantine are not ill, but may potentially become ill following their exposure to the ill person.  The incubation period for COVID-19 is 2 - 14 day s(average of 5 days), so it is important that these exposed individuals stay away from others to ensure that if they do become sick, they do not potentially make other people sick.  Once an individual completes their 14 day quarantine period, they are released from quarantine.  

At this point, it is not known if ill individuals can get this infection again.  It is also very important to know that individuals who are quarantined can become sick at any time following an exposure. 

Audrey Arona, MD
CEO/District Health Director
Gwinnett, Newton, and Rockdale County Health Departments
If you will not have a test to determine if you are still contagious, you can leave home after these three things have happened:
You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use medicine that reduces fevers) AND
other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved) AND
at least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared
If you will be tested to determine if you are still contagious, you can leave home after these three things have happened:
You no longer have a fever (without the use medicine that reduces fevers) AND
other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved) AND
you received two negative tests in a row, 24 hours apart. Your doctor will follow CDC guidelines.
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