The infectious disease COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus, may continue to spread in our community. We place some people on home quarantine in order to limit the spread of this virus to others in our community. We understand that being placed on home quarantine can be hard on families. Please read this to learn more about home quarantine and what it means for you and your family.
Q: What is a home quarantine? A home quarantine is when your health care provider or public health official tells you and your family to stay home and limit contact with people outside of your household. It’s for people who either are known to have COVID-19 or have been exposed and are waiting for the results of their testing.
Q: Why am I/my family being placed on home quarantine? You and your family are being placed on home quarantine because it is possible you have been exposed to, or it has been confirmed that you have, COVID-19. The people who need to stay at home are those who were exposed to COVID-19 and/or have symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath).
Q: How long will I have to be on home quarantine? This will depend on how long it takes for everyone in your family to be tested. Once the results of your test are available, your health care provider or your local public health official will give you more instructions.
Q: Who do I call if I have questions? If you have questions about the testing for COVID-19, speak to the care team who are doing this test. Any other questions about coronavirus or COVID-19 should be directed to your primary care provider. If you have questions about your home quarantine, please call your local health department.
Q: What do I need to do?
- Stay home. You should not leave home except for getting medical care. This includes staying home from work, avoiding any public areas (including stores, restaurants, etc.), and not using public transportation.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing then dispose of the tissue.
- Have only people in the home who are essential for providing care. No one else may visit.
- Stay in a different room from other members of your family as much as possible if you are the only one sick.
- Clean your hands well with soap and water or hand sanitizer often, especially after you sneeze or blow your nose, and before touching your face or eating.
- Avoid sharing household items such as dishes, cups, bedding or other items between people in your home, especially between those who are sick and those who are not.
FAMILY MEMBERS IN THE HOME SHOULD:
- Stay home. They should not leave home except for getting medical care. This includes staying home from work, school, avoiding any public areas, and not using public transportation.
- Clean their hands well with soap and water or hand sanitizer often, especially after they sneeze or blow their nose, and before touching their face or eating.
- Clean “high-touch” surfaces every day (counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, bedside tables, etc.). They should also clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool or body fluids on them.
- Use a household cleaning spray or wipe, according to the label instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product, including following precautions when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure there is good ventilation during use of the product.
- If family members start having symptoms like cough and fever, they should tell their primary care provider right away and the health department.
- Both you and your family members should call ahead before visiting the doctor. Even with a medical appointment, call ahead and tell the office about the COVID-19 exposure. This helps the office take steps to keep others from getting infected or exposed
Home Isolation Guidance for Individuals with Confirmed or Suspected COVID-19 Under Home Isolation:
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has provided the following guidance for individuals regarding home management.
Home Isolation Guidance
Used for people suspected or confirmed to have coronavirus (COVID-19)
Why? To keep the person from infecting others
- Stay home except for medical care or emergencies.
- Live in a separate area from others in the home, if possible, and use a different bathroom
- Keep at least six feet away from other people
- Wear a face mask around others
- Have food and necessities delivered
- Wash hands with soap and water often
- Wash surfaces regularly, including doorknobs, cell phones, bedding, towels and clothing
- Use separate utensils and dishes from others in the home
Individuals with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and who were directed to care for themselves at home may discontinue isolation under the following conditions:
- At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and,
- At least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
This recommendation will prevent most, but may not prevent all instances of secondary spread. The risk of transmission after recovery, is likely very substantially less than that during illness.
1 IDSA. COVID-19 Prioritization of Diagnostic Testing. https://www.idsociety.org/globalassets/idsa/public-health/covid-19-prioritization-of-dx-testing.pdf . Updated 3/17/2020. (Accessed 3/24/2020)
2 MO DHSS. Update: Criteria to Guide Evaluation and Laboratory Testing for COVID-19.