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L.A. County Issues New Orders Directing Self-Quarantine & Self-Isolation

– Courtesy photo from Pixabay

On Wednesday, in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, protect vulnerable individuals, and prevent the Los Angeles County healthcare system from being overwhelmed, the L.A. County Health Officer issued two new separate orders:

  • Self-quarantine of anyone exposed to an individual diagnosed with or likely to have COVID-19.
  • Self-isolation of anyone diagnosed with or showing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 within 14 days of being in close contact with a person who had or was believed to have COVID-19.

These new orders ensure that individuals who test positive for COVID-19, and those who are told by a clinician they are presumed to be positive for COVID-19 are required to self-isolate for a period of at least three days without symptoms, including being fever-free without taking medicine, and seven days since symptoms started, whichever is longer. Additionally, those who have been in close contact with someone who is positive or presumed positive must quarantine themselves for 14 days from the last time they had contact with the ill person.

“It is critically important that everyone adheres to all the social distancing measures and practice good public health hygiene, including washing hands as frequently as possible,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of the L.A. County Department of Public Health. “Individuals covered by these Orders should still contact their providers to get advice if they feel their symptoms are worsening.”

There are key differences between self-quarantine and self-isolation. Here’s what the new orders mean for you:

Self-Quarantine Order

(Exposed)

Self-Isolation Order

(Diagnosed)

  • Required for anyone exposed to a person diagnosed with or likely to have COVID-19.
  • You must stay in quarantine for 14 days from the last time you had contact with the ill person.
  • You cannot leave your place of quarantine for all 14 days.
  • Only exception to leave quarantine is to receive medical care.
  • If you develop even mild COVID-19 symptoms, you must self-isolate at home and away from others.
  • Required for anyone diagnosed with or showing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 within 14 days of being in close contact with a person who had or was believed to have COVID-19.
  • Self-isolation period must last at least three days without symptoms, including being fever free without taking medicine, and seven days since symptoms started, whichever is longer.
  • Notify anyone you’ve had close contact with while symptomatic to self-quarantine themselves.
  • Only exception to leave self-isolation is to receive medical care.

Further information on steps to take to self-quarantine can be found here in English and here in Spanish, as well as further information on steps to take to self-isolate can be found here in English and here in Spanish.

March 27, 2020

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