Definitions related to COVID-19 Illness and Exposure

  • Symptoms compatible with COVID-19, for the purpose of these recommendations, include subjective or measured fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.
  • Social distancing means remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible.
  • Congregate settings are crowded public places where close contact with others may occur, such as restaurants and bars, parties, shopping centers, movie theaters, stadiums.
  • Self-observation means people should remain alert for subjective fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. If they feel feverish or develop cough or difficulty breathing during the self-observation period, they should take their temperature, self-isolate, limit contact with others, and seek advice by telephone from a healthcare provider or their local health department to determine whether medical evaluation is needed.
  • Self-monitoring means people should monitor themselves for fever by taking their temperatures twice a day and remain alert for cough or difficulty breathing. If they feel feverish or develop measured fever, cough, or difficulty breathing during the self-monitoring period, they should self-isolate, limit contact with others, and seek advice by telephone from a healthcare provider or their local health department to determine whether medical evaluation is needed.
  • Isolation means the separation of a person or group of people known or reasonably believed to be infected with a communicable diseaseand 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.
  • Quarantine in general means 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.
  • Close contact is defined as:
    1. being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of a COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time; close contact can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a healthcare waiting area or room with a COVID-19 case; -OR-
    2. having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on).