What you need to know about self-quarantine and how it protects the population

James Longman, an ABC news correspondent who recently returned to London from an assignment in Rome, is now in self-quarantine.

"So, I am at an Airbnb in central London. You can see that we've set up a little recording area so that I can be on live TV. But it's important that no one comes in contact with me because that's the whole point of being under quarantine," Longman said.

If you're wondering how people going into self-quarantine protects the rest of the population, here's a few answers:

According to the CDC, isolation requires sick people to be separated from those who are not sick. Being in quarantine restricts the movement of people who may have been exposed to a contagious disease to monitor if they become sick.

People who should be in self-quarantine are those with a medium risk. Meaning, if you've traveled to a country with a "widespread of sustained transmission" within 14 days, had close contact with someone showing COVID-19 symptoms or been on a plane with a person showing symptoms.

"The idea of the self-quarantine is to not spread the virus as quickly into the community, so our healthcare system can handle those who need it the most," Infectious disease, Baylor College of Medicine Dr. Woc Colburn said.

SELF-QUARANTINE:

Should last as long as the upper-limit of the virus' incubation, which is the time between being exposed and showing symptoms. In the case of COVID-19, that's 14 days.

RESTRICTIONS:

  • The person on self-quarantine should not leave their home.

  • They should not come in contact with other people.

  • Call ahead to provider to see someone for medical treatment, ensuring they go to the right place and don't expose anyone else.

  • Arrange for groceries and toiletries to be delivered by state and local health departments.


TO GET OUT OF SELF-QUARANTINE:

  • Must be free of symptoms and test negative for the virus for the entire duration of the recommended self-quarantine.

  • According to the Houston Health Department, the person should coordinate with a doctor after 14 days to get cleared from self-quarantine.


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