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Thursday, September 24, 2020

COVID-19: What is Self-isolation, When and Why Should I Self-isolate

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With thousands of reported cases of COVID-19 around the round and lots of deaths recorded, it may still seem far away to people in countries with no victims yet.

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However, considering the fact that Nigeria has recorded its Third case independent of the Index case, it may be nearer than you can ever imagine.

The Center for disease control and Prevention (CDC) has been relentless in its efforts to monitor and curb further spread of this virus that is yet to have a cure.

Depending on where you are, and the risk level, the center for disease control and prevention may ask that specific individuals or families avoid contact with the rest of the world, or simply put, self-quarantine.

A lot of individuals get scared when they hear the word ‘quarantine,’ but there is nothing to be afraid of. In this article, you’ll learn all about what it means to self-quarantine, and essential tips for self-quarantine just in case.

People may not have the virus, but will be considered “medium risk,” for one or both of two reasons.

  1. If they have visited a country or region “with widespread sustained transmission” within the past 14 days.
  2. If you have come in close contact with a person exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms or you traveled on the same plane with a person or people who are showing signs.

Now that we understand what it takes to be considered a medium-risk let’s see what the CDC has to say. For medium-risk cases of the COVID-19, the CDC recommends that such a person self-isolates.

What is self-isolation for COVID-19?

For an individual who is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 and has been considered “medium risk,” the center for disease control recommends self-isolation.

Whereas a quarantine is designed to separate persons who may have been in contact with an infected person, or exposed to this recent coronavirus by other means, just to find out if they eventually get sick, isolation is a medium to separate an already sick person from others who aren’t ill.

Quarantines for COVID-19 last for only as long as the upper limit of the coronavirus’ incubation (that is the time between getting exposed and exhibiting symptoms), which the CDC has said should be 14 days (two weeks).

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Isolation, on the other hand, lasts for as long as the coronavirus is contagious. This means that isolated persons can only go back to mixing up when they are free of any symptoms and test negative for COVID-19.

Just in case you have recently visited an area with a recorded outbreak, or you have been in contact with an infected person, here is how to self-isolate. These tips also woolly to you if you are showing symptoms of the virus, or if you have tested positive for COVID-19 already:


  • Stay away from other individuals in your home or around as much as you can, staying in a room separate from everyone else’s and possibly using a different bathroom if available.
  • Limit or avoid contact with your pets, since there is a tiny chance that humans can pass the virus to dogs, cats, or other pets. However, only one such case of human to animal transmission has been recorded since the outbreak (in a Pomeranian dog living with an infected woman in Hong Kong).
  • No guests unless the person has to be in your home.
  • If you need any medical attention, ensure to call ahead so that you go to the right place and also taking the necessary precautions.
  • Always wear a face mask if you have to be around others, such as during a ride to the hospital or doctor’s office.
  • When you sneeze/cough, cover your mouth and nose with a handkerchief or tissue; immediately throw the handkerchief or tissues in the garbage; wash both hands with soap and water for no less than 20 seconds; if soap and water is not available, clean your hands with hand sanitizer that contains no less than 60% alcohol ( find a tutorial on how to make your hand sanitizer at home here).
  • Avoid sharing any household items such as drinking cups, towels, eating utensils, or even bedding. Thoroughly wash these items after use.
  • Clean all high-touch surfaces every day using a wipe or household cleaner. These include: ” tabletops, counters, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, tablets, phones, toilets, keyboards, and bedside tables,” the CDC says.
  • Clean all surfaces that may be contaminated with stool, blood, or any other bodily fluids.
  • Shared spaces in your home should have enough airflow — leave your window open or use an air conditioner.
  • Continue to monitor your symptoms. If you notice that they worsen, such as if you start to have difficulty breathing, be swift to call your health care provider.

When to stop isolating for COVID-19?

To figure out when it is time to stop your self-isolation measures, the Center for disease control and prevention says it will be on a case-by-case basis; thus you must check with your health care provider before you make any changes.

It is a fact that getting your needs met while you are self-isolating may be challenging, but there is some advice from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) that you should consider:

Arrange to have your groceries and toiletries delivered by your local or state health department. Also, ensure that you inform the health care providers of any drugs that you’ll need so that they can also arrange drop-offs of prescriptions for you.

In terms of getting your laundry done for people without washing machines at home, you could also ask health care providers about how to get that done.

For people in countries where getting such help isn’t guaranteed, stock up on supplies like detergents and toiletries ahead of time, and ensure that no one else comes in contact with your clothes while in isolation.

Please leave comments. Healthtian wishes all infected persons a speedy recovery.

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Disclaimer: This article is purely informative & educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

Emmanuella Ekokotu
Ekokotu Emmanuella is a sociologist and Anthropologist, writer, and fashion model who lives in Benin city, Edo state,Nigeria.
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