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Health Department Explains Isolation, Quarantine and What Happens If You Test Positive for COVID-19

Hi everyone, my name is Katie Mungari, I amthe Director of Community Health Services here at Madison County Health Department.

And I wanted to talk to everybody just brieflyabout some questions we’ve been receiving.

We get a lot of questions about isolationand quarantine, what that means for people and what happens after you get tested forCOVID-19.

So first, just to review, isolation and quarantineare two different things.

Isolation is for people who are sick, they’vebeen diagnosed and have seen a doctor and have been told that they are COVID positive.

These people will go into what's called isolation.

Isolation is not a specific amount of time.

It’s based on your symptoms and we followNew York State guidance on that.

Quarantine is for people who have been exposedor who have come into close contact with somebody who is a positive.

Quarantine is a 14 day period where we watchfor symptoms to make sure that you don’t contract the disease after being exposed toit.

This is also something that the Health Departmentmonitors.

One of the other questions that we get quitefrequently is what happens if you do test positive for COVID? At the Health Department, we have a groupof people who are trained and specialized in doing case investigations.

We’ve been doing it for years, we do itfor every communicable disease from whooping cough, to E.

coli and salmonella.

Before the pandemic started, we had two staffthat were trained and dedicated to doing these investigations.

Since that and since the uptick, we’ve trainedanother 14 people so we have a very large specialized team of people here at the HealthDepartment who are trained to help you and get you through your diagnosis, and get youthrough your illness and help you keep your family safe.

The first thing that is going to happen iswe’ll get notified of your positive result either from your doctor or from the lab thatconducted the test.

You’ll then get a phone call from one ofour contact investigators or disease specialists.

We’ll do an interview with you and it’lllast about an hour.

It takes about that long to go through allof your contact history, your symptoms, any other diseases or medications and things likethat that you take.

And we’ll also go through your travel history, so we talk about where you’ve been, who you’ve been in contact, what kind of workyou do, how you can keep the other people in your family safe and not expose anybodyelse further.

Once we do that, we make sure that we documentall of your symptoms so that we can monitor you daily and make sure that when you’reready to come off of isolation, we go over that with you.

Again, people who are positive are going tobe under isolation.

They get daily contact from our office anda nurse calls and assesses symptoms every single day to make sure that you’re beingtaken care of, you’re getting the health care you need and that you’re in isolationfor as long as you need to be.

Again, isolation is for positive people.

The people during your investigation thatyou’ve come into close contact with that need to go on quarantine will also be notifiedby us.

They’ll receive a quarantine order fromus in the mail or we’ll drop it off to them depending on the circumstances.

We do call and notify everybody to make surethat they know they need to be on quarantine.

If that person went out to a store like Wal-Martor the grocery store or something like that, we’ll put out a public notice to make surethat people who could have also been in that vicinity are notified.

These people are placed on a 14 day quarantine.

The 14 days starts from your date of exposure.

So if you work with somebody who tested positive, we go from the day that you last worked with them.

14 days from that day, we monitor you forsymptoms.

Again somebody from the Health Departmentwill call you and monitor you for symptoms every day.

Some people, depending on what you do fora living, are allowed to go back to work.

If you are allowed to go back to work, thereare very strict instructions you have to follow.

You have to wear a mask, you have to takeyour temperature twice a day and you have to do proper hand hygiene.

Again the Health Department monitors that.

Quarantine is 14 days.

If you start to show symptoms, we then makesure that you get tested.

If you don’t have a doctor, we make surethat we get you testing some other way.

All of this is to keep you and the communitysafe.

We’re here for you working seven days aweek and we’ve expanded all of our staffing and training.

Please contact us if you have questions, we’rehere to help you.

We want to make sure that we keep everybodyas safe as possible.

And we would love to hear from you and helpyou in any way we can.

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