What does it mean to self-quarantine and who should do it?

To self-quarantine means you minimize your contact with others for a specified period of time, in accordance with public health instructions. Self-solation is used to separate ill persons who have a communicable disease from those who are healthy. Isolation restricts the movement of ill persons to help stop the spread of certain diseases.

Who needs to self-quarantine?

As of March 17, Public Health Madison Dane County (PHMDC) announced there is community spread of COVID-19 in Dane County. That means there is an urgent need for all people in Dane County to restrict movement and stay at home as much as possible. PHMDC is directing all Dane County residents to:

  • Stay home whenever you can, especially when you are sick. If sick, isolate yourself from other members of your household, including pets. Minimize contact with others in your home (stay in your own room and, when possible, use your own bathroom) and avoid sharing personal household items such as dishes, towels, and bedding.
  • Limit contact with others. This includes canceling events, gatherings, playdates, and nonessential appointments. Minimize trips in public, avoid traveling, and work from home as much as possible. If you must go out, stay at least six feet from people whenever possible.
  • Order necessities online for delivery. If possible, order supplies you need so you can stay home.
  • Use virtual visits with your doctor. If you have symptoms like cough, fever, or other respiratory problems, call your doctor’s office before going in. Your doctor will decide if you need to be tested. If your symptoms are too severe to be managed at home, call 911 or call ahead to the emergency department. Use virtual visits if possible to avoid coming in contact with others. Drop-in visits to UHS are not available. Call 608-265-5600 to schedule an appointment.
  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. Do this often because it’s the easiest, most effective way to keep from getting sick.
  • Follow other everyday prevention strategies. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available, clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, avoiding shaking hands or being in someone’s personal space, get your flu shot, avoid touching your face, and cough and sneeze into your elbow or a tissue.

The CDC also offers this specific guidance to people who are sick. If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice.

Everyone should self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19, including fever (100.4 F or above), cough, and shortness of breath. In the event of symptoms, call University Health Services 608-265-5600 or your personal medical provider. Before going to a clinic, urgent care, or to an emergency room, call ahead and tell them your symptoms and recent travel history.

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