Quarantine and Isolation

The purpose of isolation and quarantine is to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 by restricting the movement and activities of people who are ill, suspected of being ill, or who have been exposed to the disease.

For Madison County, only the Director of Public Health or the Board of Health can order an individual to be placed in or removed from quarantine or isolation. Healthcare providers are being asked to encourage those individuals they’ve tested to self-quarantine until Health Department staff are able to contact them. 

What Does Quarantine Mean?

Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who are exposed to COVID-19, who may or may not have symptoms of COVID-19.

There are two types of quarantines: mandatory and precautionary. The main difference is that mandatory is a public health order issued to the individual in writing. Precautionary, as the word implies, is a measure taken to prevent the exposure to others and the individual will be asked by the public health department to self-quarantine.

Mandatory quarantine: Person meets one or more of the following criteria:

1) You have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or is currently in mandatory isolation; OR

2) You are symptomatic and have returned within the past 14 days from a country designated with a level 2, 3, or 4 advisory for COVID-19

Precautionary Quarantine: Person meets one or more of the following criteria: 

1) You are asymptomatic and have returned within the past 14 days from a country designated with a level 2, 3 or 4 advisory for COVID-19; OR 

2) You have been determined to have had proximate exposure with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

PLEASE NOTE anyone who is tested for COVID-19 will be asked to self-quarantine until they receive their test result. 

What Does Being In Quarantine Mean?

An individual placed in quarantine will be quarantined in a location determined by public health authorities.  As much as possible, we try to keep individuals in their homes for the quarantine period.  If that is not possible, the health department will identify a quarantine location for the individual.  While under quarantine the individual is not to engage in public activities. For persons quarantined at single family dwelling locations, if the quarantined person goes outside, they should not leave their property or come within six (6) feet of other persons. People under quarantine in a multi-family dwelling (e.g. apartment complex) may not utilize common stairways or elevators to access the outside. These individuals must refrain from walking in their neighborhood.

While under quarantine, health department staff will conduct daily check-ins, both in-person and over the phone, to determine the individual(s) are located at the site and their well-being.

Release From Quarantine

Individuals will be released from quarantine when they meet criteria based on New York State Department of Health guidelines. The Health Department will make contact over the phone with individuals being released from quarantine.

What Does Isolation Mean?

Isolation is designated for people who have tested positive for COVID-19, whether or not they display symptoms. It is intended to separate sick people with COVID-19 from people who are not sick. The Health Director will immediately issue a public health order for Mandatory Isolation, which shall be served on the person impacted.

What Does Being in Isolation Mean?

A location for isolation is determined by public health authorities.  As much as possible, we try to keep individuals in their homes for the isolation period. If that is not possible, the health department will identify an isolation location for the individual. For individuals isolated in single family dwelling locations, they can walk outside their house, but should not leave their property or come within six (6) feet of other persons. People in isolation in a multi-family dwelling (e.g. apartment complex) may not utilize common stairways or elevators to access the outside. These individuals must refrain from walking in their neighborhood.

While in isolation, health department staff will conduct daily check-ins, both in-person and over the phone, to determine the individual(s) are located at the site and their well-being.

Release from Isolation

Individuals will be released from isolation when they meet criteria based on New York State Department of Health guidelines. The Health Department will send a formal letter and make contact over the phone with individuals being released from home isolation.

Employment Status

New York State enacted legislation authorizing paid sick leave for individuals subject to quarantine or isolation order due to COVID-19. Details on the available benefits can be found at www.paidfamilyleave.ny.gov/COVID19

Meeting Personal Needs

In addition to ensuring that shelter requirements are met, health department staff will ensure individuals under quarantine or isolation will have their social, medical, and mental health needs addressed.

  1. State of Emergency
  1. Local Emergency Order
  1. Quarantine Order
  1. Isolation Order

For additional information, please visit the NYS Dept. of Health: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/travel-large-gatherings-and-quarantines#quarantines