What is Quarantine?

If you are wondering whether you should stay at home or keep your children at home, here is some guidance from Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission: https://medium.com/wadepthealth/

Who has to quarantine themselves at home?

You have a cough and a fever:

- If you have NOT been around anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, you should stay home away from others until 72 hours after the fever is gone and symptoms get better. You may have COVID-19 or you may have any number of other respiratory diseases circulating in our communities.

- If you have NOT had a COVID-19 test, but you have had close contact with someone who has had a test and been diagnosed with COVID-19, you should isolate yourself at home for 7 days OR until 72 hours after your fever is gone and your symptoms get better, whichever is longer.

- If you have had a test and actually been diagnosed with COVID-19, you need to stay home away from people for 7 days or until 72 hours after your fever and symptoms are gone, whichever is longer.

You feel fine:

- BUT you have had close contact with a sick person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19. Please monitor your health for fever, cough and shortness of breath during the 14 days after the last day you were in close contact with the sick person with COVID-19. You should not go to work or school, and should avoid public places for 14 days.

- BUT your kid or someone else in your household has a cough and a fever, but has NOT been tested for COVID-19. The sick person needs to stay home until their fever and symptoms have been gone for 72 hours. You and the rest of the household can continue to go to work and school as long as you feel well. There are many potential respiratory diseases that can cause cough and a fever.

- BUT a friend of a friend of yours has COVID-19. You can continue to go to work and school as long as you feel well. If you have not been around someone with COVID-19, the chances that it is COVID-19 are fairly low.

- BUT you are worried about your older or medically fragile friends and relatives. This is a time to practice social distancing. Refrain from shaking hands, high fives, and hugs, stand 6 feet or more away from other people. See if you can work from home.

Wash your hands frequently.Take care of yourself and others!

New blog post from Snohomish Health DistrictWhat you need to know about testing

Who can be tested?
There are no restrictions on who can be tested for COVID-19. Commercial testing is becoming more widely available, and health care providers may choose to test patients with symptoms like fever, cough or difficulty breathing.

However, testing capacity is not infinite. That’s why it is important that testing is prioritized for certain groups, including:
- health care workers
- patients in public safety occupations like law enforcement or firefighters
- patients who are part of a cluster of illnesses at a specific facility like a school or long-term care center
- patients with severe lower respiratory illness
- patients with worsening symptoms
- patients who are at higher risk for severe illness due to underlying medical conditions, weakened immune systems, age (60 or older), or because they are currently pregnant.

Anyone can contact their health care provider to request testing. However, testing is provided at the provider’s discretion. If you have symptoms like fever, cough or difficulty breathing, be sure to call ahead before going in to a clinic or other health care facility.

Generally, testing is not recommended for people who do not have symptoms, though a health care provider may decide to test if someone has close contact with a confirmed case.

Who should be tested?
Not everyone with symptoms needs to be tested. People who have mild symptoms should stay home and away from others until 72 hours after fever (fever = 100.4 degrees F or higher) has passed or seven days after illness began, whichever is longer. Whether a test were to come back positive or negative for COVID-19, that guidance would not change – stay home, stay away from others, focus on getting well.

People who have symptoms and are part of one of the priority groups listed under the previous question should call their health care provider and ask if they need to be evaluated in person. Your health care provider may want to monitor your health or test you for something other than COVID-19, such as influenza.

People who are not at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 likely do not need to be evaluated in person or tested for COVID-19.

Why not test everyone?
Ideally, anyone who wanted to be tested could be tested. Realistically, our health care system lacks that kind of capacity and must prioritize testing resources. 


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