Isolate, quarantine, stay home were the new mantra of Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley last week as he announced new measures to battle the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
From midnight today, the special stay-at-home measure will be implemented with all non-essential workers being asked to stay home.
The public has been hearing these words a lot these days as authorities try to stem the spread of COVID-19 that’s sweeping the world. While they are not the same thing, they all have the goal of keeping others from getting infected.
But what do they mean, exactly?
Here are some brief explanations as explained by some international experts yesterday.
This is for people who may have been exposed to the virus.
They are asked to stay at home or, as in the case with people who were repatriated to their home countries, to stay in a provided facility.
They’re required to be in quarantine for 14 days.
After that, people who still don’t test positive for the virus no longer have to be in a contained environment.
Some people may be asked to self-quarantine—meaning they do it voluntarily.
Those with the virus who need to be hospitalised will be kept in an isolation unit.
People who have been infected with the virus may be asked to self-isolate at home if they have no symptoms or are only mildly ill.
Those in isolation should keep away from other people as much as possible.
In these instances, officials recommend using a separate bathroom if available, wearing a face mask when around others and not sharing the household items.
Stay at home
This literally translates to staying where you are until the coast is clear.
This means these persons shouldn’t be out unless getting food, gas or other essentials, or for medical reasons.
Going outside for a walk or exercise is allowed, and even encouraged, but people are asked to keep their distance from others. It’s all about social distancing, and by now, we probably all know that means keeping six feet apart from other people when out and about.