What Is a Self Quarantine and When Should I Do It?

By Allon Mordel, MD
Medically reviewed
March 10, 2020
Photo by Thought Catalog

As the number of coronavirus cases grows, a lot of people are talking about self-quarantines. A self quarantine is when you isolate yourself from others in order to prevent transmission of the virus. Ideally you should stay at home and away from friends and family members. If being around others is unavoidable for any period of time, wear a mask and wash your hands often.

You may be wondering whether you should be thinking about a self quarantine yourself. Self quarantine is also necessary if you have been potentially exposed to coronavirus. If you haven’t been exposed and are experiencing no symptoms, no quarantine is required.

Here’s when and for how long you should self quarantine:

  • If you are at high risk to exposure of coronavirus and do NOT have symptoms, self quarantine for two weeks. Sometimes it can take up to 14 days for you to develop any symptoms. If you want to learn more, use our COVID-19 screening tool here.
  • If you have potentially been exposed to coronavirus and DO have symptoms, self quarantine until your symptoms completely go away and then for 24 hours longer.

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K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.

Allon Mordel, MD

Allon Mordel is the Medical Director at K Health. Dr. Mordel is a graduate of the University of Georgia and served as an EMT for the city and county services. He was accepted into residency at the NYU/ Bellevue Emergency Medicine Residency Program where he distinguished himself and became Chief Resident on his way to becoming an Attending Physician.