COVID-19 terms and definitions

Self-monitor means people should monitor themselves for fever by taking their temperatures twice a day and monitor for cough or difficulty breathing. If they feel feverish or develop fever, cough, or begin to experience difficulty breathing during the self-monitoring period, they should self-isolate, limit contact with others, and seek advice by telephone from their medical provider or their local health department to determine whether medical evaluation is needed.

Self-isolate means you isolate yourself from others – avoid all contact with others, including family members and visitors to your home. Stay at home or in your room as much as you can. Do not go to work, classes, meetings, or public areas. Do not use public transport like buses, trains, Ubers or taxis. Ask friends, family members or delivery services to shop for and deliver food and  get medication and have those items left outside your door to prevent in person contact. Do not share eating utensils, bed linen, towels or other household items with others.

Quarantine is the similar to self-isolate, but it’s for people who are sick. It keeps infected people away from healthy people to prevent the sickness from spreading. The government has the authority to enforce a quarantine through legal action.

Close contact is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for this coronavirus outbreak based on research and what scientists know. It is defined being within 6 feet of a person infected with the virus for a “prolonged period of time.” Examples include living with, sharing a health-care waiting room, or visiting for several minutes with someone with COVID-19, as well as having had direct contact with the infected person’s secretions – for example, being coughed on. A prolonged period of time is generally defined as several minutes.

Coronaviruses are generally passed from person to person through droplets from the nose or mouth when an infected person coughs or exhales, which land on objects and surfaces around the person, requiring close physical contact with a sneeze or other body secretion

Social distancing means you should avoid large gatherings and close contact with individuals even if you are not in a large group. If you have to be around people, keep 6 feet  between you when possible.