Oops, I “broke quarantine.” Now what?

Lockdown is tough for everyone. And it’s getting harder to follow the social distancing guidelines as the days wear on. Maybe your teenager snuck out and went to a graduation party. Or you couldn’t resist barbecuing with friends. What’s the big deal?

The novel coronavirus spreads from person to person, and people can spread the virus before they develop symptoms. Any close contact (<6 feet) that lasts longer than 10 minutes is a potential exposure. Even if everyone looked healthy. 

What should you do? It might be tough to hear, but it’s best to isolate yourself for 14 days after “breaking quarantine.” Symptoms can take up to 14 days (or more) to appear. So someone at the party may have been sick and contagious, but not yet showing symptoms! 

You want to do the right thing and make sure you’re OK before rejoining your family or going back outside. Be more strict about staying isolated if you live with someone at high risk of getting very sick with COVID-19, like older people or people with medical problems.

Last update: May 11, 2020, 7:00 PM ET
Science Review: JAB