Quarantine Order Information

What does it mean to be under quarantine? Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. These people may have been exposed to a disease and do not know it, or they may have the disease but do not show symptoms. 

Note: This is different from Isolation.  Individuals with confirmed COVID-19 will be directed to Isolate and may be instructed to recover at home if their symptoms do not require hospitalization.

Quarantine Instructions: What to do During Quarantine Period

If you are told to quarantine, you must quarantine and self-monitor for 14 days from your last date of exposure, or a longer period of time if you are a household contact.   It can take as little as 2 days to as many as 14 days after being near someone with COVID-19 to feel any symptoms or know if you are infected.  Some people who are infected never have symptoms, but are still contagious to others. You must follow the instructions below while you are under a quarantine order.  By following the quarantine order instructions, you will prevent the spread of COVID-19.  Please let us know if you need help getting food or supplies at this time.

A person with COVID-19 is considered to be contagious 2 days before their first symptoms appear until they are no longer required to be self-isolated. A person with a positive COVID-19 test but no symptoms is considered to be contagious from 2 days before their test was taken until 10 days after their test.

1. Stay home, except to get medical care

Staying home helps stop the spread of COVID to others. Do not go to work, school, friends or family member’s houses or public places. 

If you can have friends or family deliver supplies to your doorstep, it is safe for them to approach your home and leave items on your front doorstep. (They will not be exposed to the virus.) However, do not have any extended visits or invite them into your home.

Self-quarantine also means you should not return to work until your period of quarantine has been completed. If you’re unable to work because you have been  exposed to COVID-19 (certified by a medical professional), you can file a State Disability Insurance (DI) claim

2. Separate yourself from other people in your home

If you live with other persons, please try to limit your contact with them and wear a face covering if you do. Try to stay in a specific “sick room” and use a separate bathroom if available.  Avoid sharing personal household items like dishes, towels and bedding. Clean your hands often and clean “high touch” surfaces everyday to avoid spreading COVID to others.

3. Check your temperature twice daily and keep a log of your temperatures

If you develop a fever (temperature ≥ 100.4 F) or any of the below symptoms, contact the Public Health Department immediately at (805) 781-5500.

4. Monitor yourself for the following COVID-19 symptoms

  • Fever (temperature ≥ 100.4 F)
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If you develop symptoms that concern you, call your medical provider.

  • Tell them that you were exposed to someone with COVID-19.
  • Ask them about getting tested.
  • Let them know if you are at high risk for serious illness. You are at high risk if you are: 65 years or older; have a chronic disease (e.g., diabetes); or a weak immune system.
  • If you have to leave your home for medical care or testing, be careful. Wear a facemask or a cloth face covering (see Guidance for Cloth FaceCoverings).
  • Use a private vehicle if possible. If you cannot drive yourself, keep as much distance as possible between you and the driver. Wear a face covering and leave the windows down if you can. Avoid using public transportation, ride shares, or taxis.

Some symptoms require that you seek medical help immediately. If you develop any of the following symptoms, please call 911 or call ahead to the Emergency Room to let them know that you have been identified as a close contact of someone with COVID 19 and be prepared to share your date of exposure. Let them know what symptoms you are having. If you develop any of the following symptoms, seek emergency medical care or call 911 immediately:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

Please notify the 9-1-1 operator or medical provider that you have received notice that you are a close contact of an individual with COVID-19 and be prepared to share your date of exposure.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What if I start to feel sick and need to see a doctor? What signs should I watch for?

Signs that you are getting sick include fever (temperature greater than 100.4), chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea.  

Call ahead first. Your doctor may be able to see and treat minor illness over the phone. If you do need to go to an emergency department, make sure they are ready to receive you and tell them about the COVID-19 quarantine notification you received.

Some symptoms require that you seek medical help immediately. If you develop any of the following symptoms, please call 911 or call ahead to the Emergency Room to let them know that you have been identified as a close contact of someone with COVID 19 and be prepared to share your date of exposure. Let them know what symptoms you are having. If you develop any of the following symptoms, seek emergency medical care or call 911 immediately: Trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, bluish lips or face. 

 2. Can I go to work if I have been quarantined?

Patients in quarantine SHOULD NOT WORK, EVEN IF THEY FEEL NO SYMPTOMS. 

Certain exceptions may be allowed for defined essential work; however, that would be discussed with County Public Health Department staff and per your employer's request.

3. Can I be outdoors while I am in quarantine? 

Quarantine stops other people from getting infected, especially vulnerable people in your household and community. Do not go to work, school, friends or family member’s houses or public places.

4. Can I go to the grocery store or pharmacy?

No. A quarantine order means you are to stay at home.  If you need assistance beyond what your household members can provide, contact County Public Health at (805) 781-5500.

 5. What does “close contact” mean? 

A “close contact is anyone who was exposed to a person with COVID-19 while they were contagious including a household member, intimate partner, or caregiver; anyone who has had greater than 15 minutes of contact at less than 6 feet distance with a confirmed case; a person who had unprotected contact with your body fluids/secretions including actions like, being coughed or sneezed on; sharing utensils; caring for someone who is sick without wearing proper protective equipment.

6. Can I participate in gatherings such as family parties, barbeques, funerals, or celebrations while I am in quarantine or isolation? 
NO, this is extremely dangerous due to your potential contagious illness. Even if you do not feel ill, you can expose others. 
7. What is the difference between Quarantine and Isolation?  

Isolation and Quarantine help protect the public by preventing exposure to people who have or may have a contagious disease. 

  • Isolation is the separation of sick people from people who are not sick.
  • Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who have been exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.
 

REMEMBER: COVID-19 spreads from infected people to others when they are working, living, or sharing social moments together.

YOU HAVE AN IMPORTANT ROLE TO PLAY TO HELPING US STOP THIS EPIDEMIC. STAY HOME, STAY SAFE, AND KEEP THOSE YOU LOVE SAFE!

WHAT IF I NEED MORE INFORMATION?

If you have questions please contact the Public Health Department at (805) 781-5500.