Self-isolation or self-quarantine generally means that people who are believed to have been infected, or exposed to the virus, separate themselves, usually by staying at home and avoiding contact with others.
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. Therefore, the purpose of self-isolation or self-quarantine is to reduce the speed and extent of how the virus spreads in a certain area.
The CDC defines isolation as “the separation of a person or group of people known or reasonably believed to be infected with a communicable disease and potentially infectious from those who are not infected to prevent spread of the communicable disease. Isolation for public health purposes may be voluntary or compelled by federal, state, or local public health order.”
The CDC defines quarantine as “the separation of a person or group of people reasonably believed to have been exposed to a communicable disease but not yet symptomatic, from others who have not been so exposed, to prevent the possible spread of the communicable disease.”
If someone needs medical attention and is infected, they will need to be treated in an isolated setting within a hospital.