Quarantine is the term used if you have a primary high-risk exposure to COVID-19. It is the period of waiting to see if an individual will acquire the virus or not after an exposure. If you develop symptoms during this time or get a positive test result, your quarantine should transition to an isolation (see below). True high-risk exposure is being with the positive individual within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes cumulatively within a 24 hour period, AND also occurring during their illness OR within 48 hours of their symptoms presenting OR within 48 hours of their positive COVID-19 test if they were asymptomatic. The safest quarantine time is 14 days from your last exposure. You can shorten your quarantine time to 10 days without testing as long as you are symptomatic. A 7 day quarantine is also possible if you are asymptomatic AND you take a COVID-19 test with a negative result on the 5th day after your last exposure (PCR preferred).
“Stay home for 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19. Watch for fever (100.4◦F), cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19. If possible, stay away from people you live with, especially people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19.” -CDC
Isolation is the term used when you are presumed positive or have tested positive for COVID-19 (even with no symptoms). Isolation times lasts 10 days from the start of your symptoms, or from the positive test date if you are asymptomatic.
“As much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people and pets in your home. If possible, you should use a separate bathroom. If you need to be around other people or animals in or outside of the home, wear a mask. Tell your close contacts that they may have been exposed to COVID-19. An infected person can spread COVID-19 starting 48 hours (or 2 days) before the person has any symptoms or tests positive. By letting your close contacts know they may have been exposed to COVID-19, you are helping to protect everyone.” -CDC
Click here for the CDC “Quarantine and Isolation” site.