Isolation vs Quarantine

Isolation and quarantine help protect the public by preventing exposure to people who have or may have a contagious disease.


Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.

  • Isolation separates and restricts the movement of sick people so they can’t spread disease to healthy people.

  • Isolation is a routine procedure in hospitals and healthcare facilities.

  • Isolation is usually voluntary, but officials have the authority to isolate people who are sick if necessary.

Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.

  • Quarantined people may or may not become sick.

  • Quarantined people should stay at home or another location so they don’t spread disease to healthy people.

  • If you are quarantined and you become ill, you can seek medical treatment from a healthcare provider.

  • Quarantine can be voluntary, but officials have the authority to quarantine people who have been exposed to an infectious disease if necessary







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