Quarantine and Isolation

The purpose of isolation and quarantine is to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by restricting the movement and activities of people who are sick, suspected of being sick, or who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19

For Madison County, only the Director of Public Health or the Board of Health can order an individual to be placed in or released from quarantine or isolation. The Madison County Department of Health (MCDOH) recommends that people who get tested for COVID-19 should self-quarantine until they receive test results if they have symptoms or who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.  

What Does Quarantine Mean?

Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who are exposed to COVID-19 to see if they become sick. The quarantine period for COVID-19 is 14 days from the last exposure. 

An individual will be issued a quarantine order from MCDOH under the following circumstances: 

1) They have been identified as a close or proximate contact to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19; OR

2) They have traveled from a high-risk state, territory, or international country

What Does Being In Quarantine Mean?

An individual placed in quarantine will remain 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 people. People under quarantine in a multi-family dwelling (e.g. apartment complex) may not use common stairways or elevators to access the outside. These individuals must refrain from walking in their neighborhood.

While under quarantine, health department staff will check in daily to monitor symptoms and ensure the quarantine order is being followed.

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 and they will receive a letter of release.

What Does Isolation Mean?

Isolation separates people who have tested positive for COVID-19 from others, regardless of if they have symptoms or not. The Health Director will immediately issue a public health order for Mandatory Isolation.

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 people. People in isolation in a multi-family dwelling (e.g. apartment complex) may not use common stairways or elevators to access the outside. These individuals must refrain from walking in their neighborhood.

While in isolation, health department staff will check in daily with the individual to ensure the isolation order is being followed and monitor 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 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. 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