Isolation or quarantine. What is the difference?

ORANJESTAD – Department of Public Health explains the difference between isolation and quarantine.

ORANJESTAD – Department of Public Health explains the difference between isolation and quarantine.

Isolation is used to separate ill persons who have a communicable disease from those who are healthy. Isolation restricts the movement of ill persons to help stop the spread of certain diseases, like COVID -19.


When the person is not ill but may have been exposed to a communicable disease. The person is placed under quarantine to make sure he or she is not infected/ or sick. For the COVID-19, a quarantine of 14 days is recommended.

Recommendations for isolation and quarantine for COVID-19

Advice for persons with or without symptoms

Are you self-isolating because of the high risk of possibly being exposed to the novel Coronavirus - COVID -19?

These actions will help protect you and others inside and outside your house from getting the virus. What does self-isolating mean?

  • Stay home or at temporary accommodation, do not go to work, school or public space.
  • While at home or short-term accommodation, separate yourself from the people you live with.
  • Use separate facilities (toilet or kitchen). If you use a shared toilet and bathroom, it is important to disinfect them every time you use them (for example, wiping surfaces you have come into contact with), before being used by others.      
  • Use home delivery for your food, medicine and/ or other necessary products.
  • Do not invite or allow visitors to enter your home or temporary accommodation.  
  • Stay away from your pets, if not possible, wash your hands before and after touching them.

Prevent the spread of the virus

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or a hand sanitizer containing 60% or more alcohol. 
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues immediately in a lined trash can.
  • Do not share home utensils, towels, eating and drinking utensils, dishes, washcloths or bed linen.
  • Use face masks in the presence of other people and only if you get instructions from health care professionals on how to wear it. 
  • Wash your hand with water and soap after using the toilet.
  • Wash your hand with water and soap before cooking or eating.
  • Take good care of your health and well-being.

For people with infection symptoms:

  • Get enough rest till you feel better
  • Drink enough liquids to urinate frequently
  • Take paracetamol as prescribed to relieve pain and reduce fever

For all persons that are self-isolating:

  • Keep in touch with friends and family over the phone or internet 
  • Take your hobby or items of personal interest home to keep you busy during this period
  • Exercise regularly, it is good for your well-being, do not go to the gym.  

Call the Call Center Coronavirus at 280-0101 for instructions if you have symptoms of dry cough or difficulty breathing after returning from a trip abroad or if you have been in contact with a patient who has tested positive for the COVID-19.

For the latest updates visit the website of the Department of Public Health

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