What is the meaning of self quarantine and how it is to be done

How is self-quarantining different from self-isolating?

 Although the two terms sound similar, there is a small difference between them. Isolation is about “separating sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.”
means it is done for the people who are sick.

Alternatively, the second preventive measure quarantining “separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick”. Quarantine is for the suspects – recommended for individuals who are believed to have been exposed to an infectious disease like a coronavirus infection, but are not symptomatic. Self-quarantine is when you separate yourself from others, even when you are feeling fine, because there is a high chance that you have been exposed to the disease. So it is the chance of exposure rather than the symptoms that warrant self-quarantine. Symptoms warrant isolation.

Being in quarantine involves monitoring if the symptoms develop in an individual who may have been exposed to the virus. These suspects will remain in their homes so that they do not spread the disease to others, in case it does develop.

Risk and the need for self quarantine (CDC)

  • If you are not sick and have not been exposed to coronavirus, you do not need to self-quarantine.
  • If you are at higher risk for serious illness from Covid-19 because of your age or because you have a serious long-term health problem (Heart disease, Diabetes Mellitus, Lung disease), it is extra important for you to take actions to reduce your risk of getting sick with the disease.

Who should self-quarantine because of coronavirus?

The CDC recommends that two groups that are at a higher risk of contracting the virus –
A. people over the age of 60

  1. people with underlying medical conditions (Heart disease, Diabetes Mellitus, Lung disease)
    – should consider self-quarantining if a coronavirus outbreak occurs in their community.

Who/ What is a Close Contact?

A close contact is someone who has been face to face for at least 15 minutes, or been in the same closed space for at least 2 hours, as someone who has tested positive for the COVID-19 when that person was infectious.

A close contact is defined as requiring:

  • greater than 15 minutes face-to-face contact in any setting with a confirmed case in the period extending from 24 hours before onset of symptoms in the confirmed case, or
  • sharing of a closed space with a confirmed case for a prolonged period (e.g. more than 2 hours) in the period extending from 24 hours before onset of symptoms in the confirmed case.

For the purposes of surveillance, a close contact includes a person meeting any of the following criteria:

  • Living in the same household or household-like setting (e.g. in a boarding school or hostel).
  • Direct contact with the body fluids or laboratory specimens of a case without recommended Personal Protectve Equipment (PPE) or failure of PPE.
  • A person who spent 2 hours or longer in the same room (such as a waiting room a school classroom; a communal room in an aged care facility).
  • A person in the same hospital room when an aerosol generating procedure is undertaken on the case, without recommended PPE.

Aircraft passengers who were seated in the same row as the case, or in the two rows in front or two rows behind a confirmed COVID-19 case. Contact tracing of people who may have had close contact on long bus or train trips should also be attempted where possible, using similar seating/proximity criteria.

In case of a Close Contact, people should Isolate themselves and monitor their health closely

If you have been identified to have had close contact with someone who is confirmed to have infection with COVID-19 while they were infectious, you must:

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