How To Self-Quarantine During Coronavirus Outbreak

Earlier last week, we posted a blog about what rideshare drivers should do regarding the coronavirus pandemic, known as CVOID-19. As of right now, reports state that the U.S. over 1,000 confirmed cases and over 120,000 worldwide. The number of new cases continuously grows, which means daily life for many people will change as workplaces, schools, and other public places begin closing. This means people will be working from home, and staying indoors for longer periods of time. In fact, some people will be quarantining themselves if they feel sick or test positively for the virus. For information purposes, we thought it would be helpful for the public to know how to self-quarantine during the viral outbreak. The information in this post comes from trusted health resources. 

What The CDC Recommends

Before panicking or rushing to the store to stock up on various items, take a deep breath and focus on what matters: avoiding the virus. From the information we know, symptoms of the coronavirus are almost identical to the flu or common cold. The virus has an incubation period of about 10 days, meaning major symptoms may not reveal themselves immediately. In order to avoid contracting the virus, the CDC recommends the following precautions.  

  • Wash hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.
    • If water and soap are not available, hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol should suffice.
  • Stay home if you feel sick, but seek medical attention if needed.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that you commonly come into contact with.
  • Cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing.

Hopefully, you and your close family and friends do not contract the virus, however, if they do, the CDC also has recommendations on how to quarantine someone. You may have heard from news sources and social media that celebrities and officials have quarantined themselves. We want to make sure everyone understands what quarantine is before we go further into the discussion. To begin, we note that the CDC defines quarantining as keeping someone who has been exposed to a virus/disease separated from others to see if they become sick. On the other hand, isolation is defined by the CDC as separating people who are sick with a specific virus/disease from unaffected persons.

How To Quarantine/Isolate

Now that we have gone over the definitions of quarantine and isolation, we want to discuss best practices. The CDC recommends that any individual who has come into contact with an infected person or area to self-quarantine.  The best way to self-quarantine would be to put yourself or the potentially infected person in a room alone. While in the room, the person being monitored should still cover their mouth, wash their hands, and practice good hygiene. Additionally, anyone in quarantine should stay in their room until symptoms pass or never surface. An infected person or monitored person should have a bathroom that only they use as well if possible. Any surface they touch could be contaminated, so giving them space is best for everyone. 

If the infected person must be around other people, such as needing a ride to seek medical attention, wearing a mask is a huge plus. Although many stores have run out of masks, you can make your own by using a scarf or cloth placed over your mouth or nose. Any surfaces they interacted with the need to be disinfected immediately. If they sneeze or cough into their hands or tissue then they need to wash their hands immediately.  

When To Seek Medical Attention

If you believe you or someone who lives with you has contracted the virus, then the CDC recommends you stay home and quarantine yourself. As mentioned before, COVID-19’s symptoms closely resemble that of a common cold or the flu. However, if you feel your symptoms getting worse, it is ok to seek medical attention. Before seeing a doctor, or in a worst-case scenario an ambulance, notify them ahead of time that you think you might have COVID-19. Obviously, you would not know for sure if you have the virus until lab testing, but giving medical practitioners a heads up help them not get sick.