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Quarantine is a public health technique designed to keep a person away from the general public because they have been exposed to an infectious or contagious disease. An individual is placed on mandatory quarantine when they test positive for COVID-19, or when they have been in close contact with or are a household contact to a positive COVID-19 patient. Mandatory quarantine helps prevent the spread of COVID-19 and is enforceable by Missouri Revised Statute (RsMo) 192.320.
If the St. Charles County Department of Public Health (SCCDPH) determines that you need to be placed on mandatory quarantine, then you must stay home for the duration of your quarantine, which will end when you are released by the SCCDPH.
Similarities and Differences - Quarantine and Isolation
Isolation is the separation of individuals with an infectious or contagious disease from those who are not sick to prevent the spread within a household. Isolation is necessary for any person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 by a laboratory test. Individuals with a COVID-19 diagnosis, exposures or symptoms are evaluated by laboratory tests and interviews to determine the appropriate duration of isolation.
The infected person needs to occupy a space that is separate from others who are not sick, including a separate sleeping space and separate bathroom. Meals should be provided room-service style with the food tray left outside the bedroom door and picked up by the infected person after the household member has walked away from the area. Isolated cases must stay in their bedroom or dedicated space, only coming out to use a dedicated bathroom. A bedroom/bathroom suite is an ideal situation.
When positive cases leave their bedroom or dedicated space and enter shared spaces of a home – even when other household members aren’t in the area – the potential for transmission of the virus to other members of the household via air/respiratory droplets or surfaces increases. This is not effective isolation.
If a separate space is not possible (for example, there is only one bathroom in the residence), then household members will be required to quarantine longer.
Household contacts to a positive COVID-19 patient will quarantine from the time their household member becomes ill until 14 days after the COVID-19 patient is released from their quarantine.
Both positive COVID-19 patients and contacts to a positive COVID-19 patient must electronically sign an individualized quarantine letter as soon as possible after they receive it. Each day during quarantine, you will receive two emails – one in the morning and one in the evening – containing a link to a self-monitoring survey. You must complete this survey two times per day. Failure to report symptom information can lengthen your quarantine. If you have issues entering your monitoring information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
Positive Cases (Symptomatic or Asymptomatic):The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends, and the SCCDPH requires, that individuals who have a positive COVID-19 test be placed on mandatory quarantine and isolate for 10 days, with no fever and no COVID-related symptoms (without medication) for the final 24 hours of the 10-day quarantine to be released. This quarantine may be extended if the person has severe COVID-19 illness.
The 10-day duration of quarantine is based on CDC studies that have determined symptomatic and asymptomatic positive cases generally stop shedding live virus after 10 days if symptoms are absent.
SCCDPH will make a determination if someone will be required to quarantine longer than 10 days, based on symptoms, onset, and disease severity.
Close Contact or Household Contact:The CDC recommends, and the SCCDPH, requires that individuals who are a close contact or household contact to a positive COVID-19 case be placed on mandatory quarantine and isolate for 14 days after their last exposure to the positive case. The duration of quarantine for close contacts and household contacts is different from positive cases because 14 days is the average incubation period for COVID-19. An incubation period is the time the virus is in your body and you are infected, but do not yet have symptoms. It can take this long for an individual to show symptoms after being exposed to a positive symptomatic or asymptomatic case.
Specifically, for household contacts:
Please note that the length of quarantine for household contacts will be extended if:
Yes. Missouri Revised Statute (RsMo) 192.320 prohibits violation of quarantine because it puts our community at risk.
Isolation is an advantage to members of your household because it gives them greater protection from the virus and allows them to finish quarantining sooner. If you choose to not isolate and other people live in your residence, then their quarantine time will extend 14 days after your quarantine ends.
No. Anything the isolated individual needs to give to those outside of their dedicated space (dirty dishes, cleaning supplies, laundry, trash, etc.) should be handled only by a household member wearing gloves. The gloves should be removed before touching any other surfaces. Anything touched by the COVID positive person should be thoroughly cleaned using proper sanitation measures.
Isolation may not be possible for some COVID-positive individuals. If this is the case with you, you should wear a mask around all household contacts and social distance as much as possible. Quarantine for your household contacts will begin as soon as you are released from isolation and quarantine.
No. At this time, release from isolation or quarantine is based upon symptoms and adherence to policies. A negative test is not required.In St. Charles County, only a representative from the Department of Public Health can release an individual from quarantine/isolation.
Not necessarily. We generally recommend close contacts get tested if they become symptomatic during their quarantine period. If a close contact is worried about asymptomatic infection, they should wait to get tested until 5-8 days after their exposure to a positive case.
The St. Charles County Department of Public Health can help make this determination based on symptoms and will assist in scheduling a test for a close contact if they do develop symptoms. A close contact cannot reduce their quarantine period with a negative test result.
Ask family or friends to help with necessities or contact the grocery store to see if they have delivery options available. If you have difficulty making arrangements, please contact the COVID-19 Information Hotline 8 a.m.—6 p.m, Monday—Friday, at 636-949-1899 or visit sccmo.org/CommunityResources for information on area agencies that can help you obtain needed items.
Yes. You can access the following resources below for your emotional health or you may use these online resources: