How and when can I safely end self quarantine?

Posted by nilshamilton @nilshamilton, Apr 6 9:59pm

Hi. I’m trying to get current information on when it is safe to move my son out of covid 19 quarantine and bring him home to St. Paul. He is currently in San Jose on a college internship. He was advised to self quarantine 4 weeks ago as he had sore throat, dry cough, and mild chest pain. He did not have and has not had a fever. He did not qualify to get a test for the virus. We were advised to wait until ALL symptoms cleared completely before transporting him. I intend to do so by car, rather than a flight home. It is incredibly hard to get an answer on what is safe – for him and others. Chest pain and dry cough have resolved, sore throat has improved but has not resolved. CDC now says only fever has to resolve (for 3 days sans meds) and upper respiratory symptoms improve (not resolve) provided first symptoms started more than 7 days previously before it is safe to come out of isolation. Unfortunately, not certain if this change in recommendation is science-based or politically influenced by the white house. Want to find legitimate, science-based medical recommendations as well as any recommendations for safe transport – do I need to mask up my son or myself as I transport him?

Thanks!!

@nilshamilton,Hi and Welcome to Connect, I do want to advise we are not Medical Doctors, We are a group of Patients and Caregivers who have had many experiences we share on many subjects. I thing tho we are all just learning about this virus and it seems the information changes on a daily bases. I guess if it was my son and would treat it like he was in my home and the precautions would be the same as they are advising. Here is a link to the CDC recommendation https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/care-for-someone.html#when I hope this answers some of your questions. Last resort ask his primary care doctor.
I hope you Have a Blessed Day
Dana

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My doctor advised me that I should wait 72 hours after all symptoms have resolved. I plan to wait 7 days after all of my symptoms have resolved. Your son should seek medical advice from his own doctor.

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@potterylady– Good morning. By ending self-quarantine what do YOU mean?

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@nilshamilton– Good morning. This must be extremely frustrating to have your son far away from you when he's ill. My son is older and lives across the country from me and I hate it when he's ill and I can't make him chicken soup. I have to agree with @potterlady you really should ask his doctor. There are too many different opinions on when someone is free of the virus. This hasn't been studied enough to have a clear answer. But if you don't get a satisfactory answer then go with caution. Does this make sense?

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@nilshamilton Wow – How frustrating to have him so far away and not be able to do anything for him. I feel your pain as my daughter is quarantined for over 3 weeks in Minnesota and we are 1500 miles away.
There is one more thing to consider at this point – states are beginning to limit travel through them, so the cross country drive both ways may be uncomfortable, to say the least. For example, Arkansas is moving to ban out-of-state guests in the hotels and motels. Texas is stopping travelers (not commercial trucks) coming from Louisiana to question & register them. People leaving South Texas to go north are finding some of their usual hotels/motels closed. These scenarios are popping up day-by-day. So if you go by car, you may find yourself and your son on the road with no place to go, unless you have a motor home/camper van to safely stay in at truck stops or rest areas (everyone including AAA reports these are open, at least along Interstates.)
Unless you feel he is in actual danger, it might be best to encourage him to ride this out a few more weeks until things settle down as far as cross-country travel. That is what we have decided to do here with a number of our neighbors…
Sue

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@sueinmn

@nilshamilton Wow – How frustrating to have him so far away and not be able to do anything for him. I feel your pain as my daughter is quarantined for over 3 weeks in Minnesota and we are 1500 miles away.
There is one more thing to consider at this point – states are beginning to limit travel through them, so the cross country drive both ways may be uncomfortable, to say the least. For example, Arkansas is moving to ban out-of-state guests in the hotels and motels. Texas is stopping travelers (not commercial trucks) coming from Louisiana to question & register them. People leaving South Texas to go north are finding some of their usual hotels/motels closed. These scenarios are popping up day-by-day. So if you go by car, you may find yourself and your son on the road with no place to go, unless you have a motor home/camper van to safely stay in at truck stops or rest areas (everyone including AAA reports these are open, at least along Interstates.)
Unless you feel he is in actual danger, it might be best to encourage him to ride this out a few more weeks until things settle down as far as cross-country travel. That is what we have decided to do here with a number of our neighbors…
Sue

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I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for all the valuable information and support you share with so many people while facing so many challenges yourself❤️ May you find peace and calm in your life and I hope your daughter gets well soon.

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@danab, the information from the CDC that you linked to provides the clearest advice and aligns with what @potterylady's doctor told her. I think the CDC advice bears repeating here:
+++
CDC Excerpt https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/care-for-someone.html#when
How to discontinue home isolation
People with COVID-19 who have stayed home (home isolated) can stop home isolation under the following conditions:

If you will not have a test to determine if you are still contagious, you can leave home after these three things have happened:
– You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use medicine that reduces fevers)
AND
– other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved)
AND
– at least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared

If you will be tested to determine if you are still contagious, you can leave home after these three things have happened:
– You no longer have a fever (without the use medicine that reduces fevers)
AND
– other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved)
AND
– you received two negative tests in a row, 24 hours apart. Your doctor will follow CDC guidelines.

@nilshamilton, CDC makes their recommendations based on science. As a second source of information Canada's public health authority in Ottawa gives similar recommendations: https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/public-health-topics/self-isolation-instructions-for-novel-coronavirus-covid-19.aspx#Individuals-with-symptoms-of-COVID-19-even-if-mild-

The CDC has also posted updated guidelines about masks and cloth face masks. See https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html

People tend to use "quarantine" and "isolation" interchangeably. In this Mayo Clinic News Network article and video, Dr. Cowl discusses the difference between the terms quarantine and isolation.
– What’s the difference between quarantine and isolation? https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/whats-the-difference-between-quarantine-and-isolation/

@sueinmn, you make very good points about checking with state dictated travel limits when crossing state borders.

NilsHamilton, how is your son doing?

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