There are two important tools that are vital to lowering the number of people infected with COVID-19 in Southern California, throughout the state, and across the country. These are:

  • Quarantine at home when you believe you’ve been exposed to a person infected with COVID-19
  • Isolate at home when you believe you may have or display the symptoms of a COVID-19 infection

Overview of Home Quarantine

Home quarantine is required in some Southern California jurisdictions under certain circumstances and recommended in others. Los Angeles County is a prime example of a locality that has promulgated an order mandating home quarantine under certain circumstances.

Home quarantine is to occur if you’ve been in contact with an individual that is presumed to be infected with the COVID-19 virus. If you find yourself in this position, you must stay home and away from other people for a period of 14 days from the date you had contact with an individual believed to be infected with COVID-19.

Unlike a situation in which you are under a stay at home advisement or order, you cannot leave your home to obtain essential services, with the exception of medical aid or assistance. For example, you cannot venture to the grocery market or take the dog for a walk. You must stay at home and have essential items delivered to your home as needed.

If you begin to experience the symptoms of a COVID-19 infection, you then need to act as if you are infected. This necessitates following the measures established for home isolation, which will be discussed in a moment.

Although the symptoms of a COVID-19 infection can vary from one person to another, the most frequently occurring symptoms are:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing

If the symptoms of a COVID-19 infection appear while on quarantine, even if only mild, the following home isolation practices need to be invoked:

  • Remain at home for at least seven days and until you are free of symptoms for at least 72 hours
  • Do not leave your home, except for medical care
  • Notify close contacts that you believe you have a COVID-19 infection (including, but not necessarily limited to, people who live in your home, intimate partners, friends, colleagues, caregivers)
  • Stay away from other individuals that reside in your home
  • Use a separate bathroom, if possible
  • Do not prepare or serve meals for others
  • Do not share cups, utensils, food with others
  • Frequently sanitize commonly used areas and surfaces
  • If you are a caregiver, find another person to assume your duties
  • Call your doctor in advance if you feel you need medical attention
  • Prepare in advance and develop a quarantine at-home action plan 

Overview of Home Isolation

Home isolation is required for a person actually diagnosed with a COVID-19 infection or who displays the symptoms of that disease or is otherwise presumed to be infected with the coronavirus. You need to bear in mind that you do not need to have a formal diagnosis of a COVID-19 infection to initiate and follow home isolation protocols. 

The most frequently occurring, primary symptoms of a COVID-19 infection are:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing

Unless these symptoms have become severe, particularly a fever and difficulty breathing, the current course of care is to remain home in isolation. If these symptoms do become severe, you do need to take appropriate steps to obtain suitable medical care. This is likely to necessitate admission to a hospital. 

If you feel you are demonstrating mild symptoms of a COVID-19 infection, contact your primary care physician by phone or through an available telemedicine portal, if there is one. Do not go to the emergency room unless specifically directed to do so by a doctor or other appropriate healthcare provider. Every effort needs to be made to prevent a swamping of emergency departments with individuals that don’t actually require this level of care. 

The reality is that the vast majority of people who end up infected with COVID-19 will have more mild symptoms that can be managed at home. Home isolation is necessary in order to ensure that a person infected with COVID-19 doesn’t spread the virus to others, including people in the higher risk groups.

While these home isolation practices were discussed a moment ago, they are repeated here in the event that a reader jumped directly to this section because information on a home quarantine didn’t seem immediately relevant:

  • Remain at home for at least seven days and until you are free of symptoms for at least 72 hours
  • Do not leave your home, except for medical care
  • Notify close contacts that you believe you have a COVID-19 infection (including, but not necessarily limited to, people who live in your home, intimate partners, friends, colleagues, caregivers)
  • Stay away from other individuals that reside in your home
  • Use a separate bathroom, if possible
  • Do not prepare or serve meals for others
  • Do not share cups, utensils, food with others
  • Sanitize frequently commonly used areas and surfaces
  • If you are a caregiver, find another person to assume your duties
  • Call your doctor in advance if you feel you need medical attention
  • Prepare in advance and develop a quarantine at home action plan 

Coronavirus Cleaning & Disinfection Services

If you reasonably believe your home was exposed to COVID-19, or if you or someone in your home residence is thought to be infected with this virus, you will want to give serious thought to engaging a coronavirus cleaning and disinfection services company. Because the potential exists for COVID-19 to remain viable on certain types of surfaces for what can prove to be an extended period of time, professional coronavirus cleaning and disinfection is the recommended course to protect the health and wellbeing of all people who reside in your home. 

Author

Emily Kil

Co-Owner of Eco Bear Biohazard Cleaning Company

Together with her husband, Emily Kil is co-owner of Eco Bear, a leading biohazard remediation company in Southern California. An experienced entrepreneur, Emily assisted in founding Eco Bear as a means of combining her business experience with her desire to provide assistance to people facing challenging circumstances. Emily regularly writes about her first-hand experiences providing services such as biohazard cleanup, suicide cleanup, crime scene cleanup, unattended death cleanup, infectious disease disinfection and other types of difficult remediations in homes and businesses.