By Donna Wood, OHM Staff
Isolation, quarantine, stay at home. These terms are being used a lot these days, as authorities try to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, Covid-19 that’s sweeping the United States and the rest of the world.
These words are not the same, although they have the goal of keeping others from getting infected. So, what do they mean, exactly? Here are some brief explanations.
People who may have been exposed to the virus are asked to self-quarantine. They’re required to be in quarantine for 14 days. After the 14-day period, people who test negative and have been cleared by a healthcare provider can resume their daily activities.
People with the virus who need to be hospitalized will be kept in an isolation unit. Some may self-isolate at home if they have mild to no symptoms. It’s important to maintain contact with a healthcare provider to report any changes, especially if they have become worse.
Those in isolation should keep away from others as much as possible. The CDC recommends using a separate bathroom, if available, wearing a face mask and latex gloves when around others, and not sharing household items such as towels, bedding and food utensils.
Stay at Home Orders
Now, millions of Americans have been ordered to stay at home as much as possible, unless they are required to report to work, keep a scheduled medical appointment, or shop for essential items such as food, gas, or household supplies.
What is and isn’t allowed during a Stay at Home order
Health professionals, police, firefighters and other essential service providers are still expected to go to work. Grocery store clerks, warehouse workers, delivery drivers, postal employees, and gas station attendants are working, too.
Essential businesses include gas stations, pharmacies, grocery stores, hardware stores, farmers’ markets, and restaurants (providing only takeout and delivery options), as well as banks and laundromats. Check your daily local news for updated information.
You can still go outside for a walk in your own back yard or in your neighborhood. It is not only allowed but encouraged. Just be sure to keep a safe distance from other people.
The CDC recommends remaining six feet apart from other people when out public.
During this time of uncertainty and challenge, please stay healthy and safe. Learn more at www.coronavirus.gov.