Isolation and quarantine help protect the public by preventing exposure to people who have or may have a contagious disease.
Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.
Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.
- Isolation is for people who are already sick.
- Isolation separates and restricts the movement of sick people so they can’t spread disease to healthy people.
- Isolation is a routine procedure in hospitals and healthcare facilities.
- Isolation is usually voluntary, but in a public health emergency, officials have the authority to isolate people who are sick
- Quarantine is for people who are not sick, but may have been exposed.
- Quarantined people may or may not become sick.
- Quarantined people may stay at home or another location so they don’t spread disease to healthy people.If you are quarantined and you become ill, you can seek medical treatment from a healthcare provider.
- Quarantine can be voluntary, but in a public health emergency, officials have the authority to quarantine people who have been exposed to an infectious disease.