Isolation -vs- Quarantine

“Isolation” versus “quarantine”: Chaffee County Public Health addresses some confusion about the difference.

As both have become commonplace in helping to slow the spread of COVID-19, it’s important to understand how to differentiate the two, and when each is called for.

Isolation or self-isolation is for individuals who:

  • Have tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Have COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Feel sick and think they might have COVID-19.

Isolation requires that one separates from others until all of the following have occurred:

  • No fever for at least 24 hours and you have not used medicine to reduce the fever.
  • Other symptoms have improved.
  • At least 10 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared.

Quarantine or self-quarantine applies to people who are not sick, but who may have been exposed to a household member, co-worker or close contact (within six feet for 15 minutes or more) who:

  • Have tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Have COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Feels sick and could possibly have COVID-19.

Quarantine involves staying at home or in the same location for 14 days after your last exposure. 

For further guidance on how to isolate or how to quarantine, visit  

To help reduce barriers associated with isolation and quarantine, resources are available through CCPH, Chaffee County Department of Human Services (DHS) and Chaffee County Community Foundation.

To learn more about these resources, call CCPH at 719-539-4510 or DHS at 719-530-2500.

Dan R
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