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When to Stay Home
On Monday, October 26 Pennsylvania reported a record-breaking 2,284 new COVID-19 cases. This marks the largest rate of daily reported cases since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. With numbers on the rise again, ODP wants to remind our stakeholders of proper social isolation and quarantine guidance when you or a loved one have had suspected contact with a COVID-19 positive individual. It has been a while since we covered the basics but is imperative that we each keep up with our individual responsibility to keep ourselves and others safe and healthy.
Quarantine versus Self-Isolation?
- Quarantine - A period of time sheltering at home and limiting interaction after suspected contact with a COVID-19 positive individual. The CDC recommends quarantining for at least two weeks while keeping a close eye on your temperature and well-being after the suspected contact.
- Isolation - A period of time where an individual shelters in one place (ie. a bedroom or vacant room) with no physical contact with others. Isolation is recommended if an individual receives a positive COVID-19 diagnosis. Isolation prevents the positive individual from spreading the virus to others.
Who needs to Quarantine?
Per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, people who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19. As a general rule of thumb, anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 should stay home.
However, the CDC has recently issued an exception: 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. People 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.
Who needs to isolate?
Anyone who receives a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.
I'm waiting for my COVID-19 test results. What should I do?
The Pennsylvania Department of Health recommends the following
- Self-isolate to your home.
- If you live with others, self-isolate in a private room and use a private bathroom if possible.
- Whoever else lives in your home should also stay at home.
- Make a list of close contacts you have had from two days before you became sick until you were isolated. Close contacts are people who have been within 6 feet of you for a period of 15 minutes or more.
- Wear a mask when you enter general living areas. Interact with others as little as possible.
- If you develop additional symptoms or if your symptoms get worse, notify your healthcare provider for instructions.
Read the full recommendation from the PA Department of Health here.
Above all, if you suspect you have contracted COVID-19 just stay home. additional information including video resources aimed at explaining proper quarantine procedures to all audiences, visit AIDinPA's Understanding Quarantine page.